A small 20 x 12.5 cm Portrait of a young man was a brilliant success for Joos van Cleve. Van Cleve left a comprehensive oeuvre including altar pictures, Madonnas and a significant number of portraits. The artist was appointed as portraitist at the court of Franz I in around 1530 and his style would lead the direction for French portrait painting of 1530 to 1570. The present painting received great international interest and attracted many bidders. It easily rose past the estimate of 100/120,000 thanks to heavy competition until the most persistent bidder was eventually successful with 652,000 (lot 1006).
The most important work from the estate of Cardinal Meisner was by the Master of Tobia (Maestro die Tobia), a 14th century Tuscan artist. The small folding alter picture depicted the Madonna and child with saints and crucifixion. Following extensive research by the Lempertz’ experts, the artist could be identified and an attribution safely applied. This attribution would surely have been a surprise for Cardinal Meisner as well who was a passionate art lover. The impressive panting also attracted international interest and was fought over to push the 120/160,000 estimate past the 200,000, 300,000 and 400,000 marks selling ultimately to an international bidder for around half a million euro. A fantastic success (lot 1001).
Capriccio con Arco rovinato e mura di paes, painted by Francesco Guardi in around 1770 left its 180/200,000 estimate behind to sell to a German collector for 235,600. Alongside Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto, Guardi coined our view of Venice: topographically precise and with a narrative at once impressionistic as well as visionary. In contrast to other veduta painters of the lagoon city, Guardi’s artistic interest is solely in the visual appearance and magic of this unique place.
Johannes Bosschaert’s Flower still life with lizard painted in oil on wood sold to a German collector for 198,400. He was the middle son of three to Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, one of the most important early flower painters in the Netherlands. In terms of quality, the father certainly remained unmatched, but this excellently preserved picture is characterised by the precise, almost scientific cool observation and reproduction of the motifs.
A signed and dated Landscape with the flight to Egypt was also a success for Pierre Patel, painted in 1657. It is characterised by a particularly fine brushwork of architecture and foliage, the gentle evening light and the academic composition of the scenery in this ideal landscape - they are the epitome of Patel's visual language. The bidder honoured its quality and raised the painting up to 186,000 (lot 1065, 120/150,000).
A fruit still life in a basket by Juan van der Hamen y León also rose to 186,000. He was born in 1596 in Madrid to the Flanders-born bodyguard of King Philipp II and in 1619, at the age of 23, was appointed to the Spanish court. His early attraction to the still life genre showed him as an artist who had found an immediate connection with the new developments in art which had also taken place in other parts of Europe (lot 1034, 120/160,000).
With an estimate of 80/100,000, the Still life with herring, rummer, wanli dish and a bread by Gerret Willemsz Heda was pushed up to 148,800 (lot 1051), whilst a depiction of St. Franz of Paola by Jusepe de Ribera, painted in 1640, reached 136,400. This picture is characterised by the expressive physiognomy of the Saint, the dramatic chiaroscuro and the virtuous brushwork. It was made at a time when Ribera was the leading artist in Naples and created important works for religious and secular clients (lot 1050, 100/140,000).
Amongst the offering of 19th century paintings, two characteristic Italian landscapes by Jacob Philipp Hackert had great success. The View of Arnotal and Fiesole is classed as a later masterwork by the German landscape painter, made in Florence in 1804. Hackert commissioned it for a good friend, the Englishman John Francis Edward Acton who was “Primo Ministro” at the court in Naples. Up till now this picture had only been known of through correspondence between Hackert and Johann Wolfgang Goethe. A German bidder raised the 70/90,000 estimate to 161,200 (lot 1031). The second work from 1805, also commissioned by Hackert showed a view from the south of the town of Maddaloni at the foot of the Monte Michele near Caserta where the royal court sat and where Hackert spent 14 years as court painter to Ferdinand IV. This work was also purchased by a German bidder, for 99,200 (lot 1303, 60/80,000).
A brilliant increase was seen for a view of Waterfalls at Tivoli with the Ponte Lupo and the temple of Vesta and Sibyl by Ernst Fries. Many interested parties ensure a bidding war passing the 20/30,000 estimate to reach 105,400 (lot 1311).
Also standing out amongst the 19th century artists were two paintings from the estate of Cardinal Meisner. Gate to a gothic church in moonlight by Carl Gustav Carus rose from 30/40,000 to 78,100 (lot 1323), but this was beaten by Morning sun over the sea by Carl Rottmann where numerous bidders pushed past the 20/25,000 estimate to reach 93,000 (lot 1318).
From the 66 sculptures and small works from the 13th – 19th centuries, mainly focusing on German and Flemish Gothic wood sculptures (15th-16th C.), a depiction of St. Adrianus made in around 1500 by the workshop of Dries Holthuys stood out, selling for 60,000 (lot 1170, 40/50,000). From the 19th century, a Young pair - Courtship by Adolf von Hildebrand, probably the most important German sculpture of the late 19th century (lot 1371, 30,000), sold for 32,200.