The highlights in this season’s Old Masters auction include paintings by Andrea Solario (€ 200/250,000), Cornelis de Heem (€ 200/240,000), Anton Möller (€ 180/200,000), Rubens (€ 180/240,000) and Caesar Boetius van Everdingen (€ 120/140,000). The 19th century is represented by works from Friedrich Nerly, Ferdinand Bellermann, Petrus van Schendel, Johann Baptist (Giovanni Battista) Lampi and Michael Neher (estimates between € 35,000 and 70,000), amongst others. The highlight of the sculpture offer is an exceptional Madonna and Child from a workshop in Normandy from the end of the 14th century (€ 140/180,000).
One top lot of the auction is a work by the Italian painter Andrea Solario– one of a number of versions of his famous picture Ecce Homo. Solario worked in the studio of Leonardo da Vinci and was one of his most significant followers. The 66.5 x 47 cm work is painted on wood and has an estimate of € 200/250,000 (lot 1507).
Another highlight is from the painter Cornelis de Heem who specialised in fruit still lifes. His characteristic Still Life with Flowers and Fruits on a Wanli Dish has been valued at
€ 200/240,000 (lot 1570). The evolutionary history of the painting Madonna and Child by Peter Paul Rubens and workshop is notable: It was left in an unfinished state in Rubens’ workshop and was later completed by one of his colleagues. An engraving and numerous copies attest to the popularity of this monumental composition, but one which is also marked by the intimacy between mother and child (lot 1541, € 180/240,000).
Portrait of a Young Patrician from Gdansk by the East Prussian painter Anton Möller (1563–1611) – in a German private collection since 1935 and with a Neuerburg provenance – is one of the most important lots in the November auction at Lempertz. Of particular interest are his portraits of Gdansk citizens with precisely painted costumes, coiffures and stances which reflect the rigid and ambitious spirit of the Hanseatic city on the Baltic Sea. In the last 30 years, only printed works by Möller have been offered on the market (lot 1521, € 180/200,000).
Rediscovered only in 2002, Caesar Boetis van Everdingen’s painting Young Woman with a Black Hat, Looking Down from a Balustrade had long been a mystery. The high quality, noteworthy picture has been estimated at € 120/140,000 (lot 1546). Portrait of a Noble Man in Spanish Dress by the Dutch artist Anthonis Mor has a value of € 80/100,000 (lot 1522) whilst Noot breekt wet – A couple, Laden with Household Goods and Two Small Children, Travel Across Country, Followed by More Have-Nots by Adriaen van de Venne is one of the most popular Dutch proverb pictures of the 17th century (lot 1537, € 70/90,000). Jan Bagaert’s (Master of Cappenberg)The Coronation of the Virgin has the same estimate. Newly emerged from a Belgian aristocratic collection, research of this hitherto unknown panel depicting the coronation of Maria Guido de Werd has attributed it to the workshop of Jan Baegert and dated to the mature creative period of this Wesel painter between 1510 and 1515 (lot 1506, € 70/90,000).
The offer is supplemented by numerous Italian, Flemish and Dutch paintings with estimates between € 40,000 and 70,000.
Here the leading lots include Portrait of Johann Philipp Count Cobenzl by Johann Baptist (Giovanni Battista) Lampi, depicting a half-figure portrait of the Austrian statesman (1741–1810) (lot 1659, € 50/60,000). A further highlight is the painting Palazzo Contarini in Venice (House of Desdemona) by Friedrich Nerly, at that time a highly successful painter of Venetian vedute (lot 1695, € 50/70,000). Nocturnal Vegetable and Fish Market in The Hague painted in 1851 by Petrus van Schendel is particularly effective; an outstanding example of his nocturnes, the market scenes lit by candle or moonlight feature refined contrasts of light and dark (lot 1687, € 40/50,000). Another market, this time Fish Market in Rome by Michael Neher from 1829 is a hitherto unknown painting by this artist which had been hidden for over 80 years in a private collection. The compiler of his catalogue raisonné was overwhelmed by its emergence (lot 1667, € 30/35,000).
The focus of the 44 lots on offer in this section is on the Late Gothic sculpture, with its highlight in the form of a Madonna and Child. This exceptional sculpture is from a workshop in Normandy, active at the end of the 14th century. Of the highest quality, it is in unusually good condition and a rare example of the artistic work in North-West France at this time (lot 1623, € 140/180,000). A further star lot is an impressive St. John the Baptist, probably made in Bavaria in around 1500 (lot 1634, € 45/50,000). The sculpture offer of the 19th century is led by a marble Aphrodite, worked by Eduard Mayer in around 1850 in Rome (lot 1658).