Old Masters

Old Masters auction

Lempertz, Cologne
18 May 2019

Rustic Cupid

by Oliver Koerner von Gustorf

Rustic Cupid

by Oliver Koerner
von Gustorf

Jean-Honoré Fragonard
WIDE LANDSCAPE WITH SHEPHERDS AND THEIR HERDS

 

Estimated price:
€ 150.000 – € 170.000

Rustic Cupid: Circa 1761, around the time this painting was made, Fragonard was re-discovering his love of pastoral scenes. He had already painted shepherd scenes according to the fashions of the time under his teacher François Boucher. But now after a six year sojourn to Italy, during which he studied at the French Academy in Rome, he was independent at last. He brought back plenty of inspiration: Hundreds of landscape sketches and a new appreciation for painters such as Giovanni Baptista Tiepolo and Peter Paul Rubens, whose works he studied in Rome.

 

In works such as this folkloric Arcadian scene, Fragonard combines the art of the Italian Baroque with 17th century Dutch and Flemish landscape painting. Private collectors loved this new style, clamouring for each of the artist’s newest cabinet pieces. He brought village love affairs and rural nature to life with broad, dynamic brushstrokes. Despite this, every movement and every leaf captured in this snapshot has been planned to perfection, like an operetta in which even cows appear debonair. Pure nature and pure artifice are reconciled under the mild light. The ideas of Rousseau and Diderot are theatrically illuminated and transfigured by the soft glow of dawn, heralding a revolution that would put an end to the Rococo dream and with it, Fragonard’s fame.

 

Oliver Koerner von Gustorf lives and works as an author in Berlin. He currently writes for „BLAU“, „AD – Architectural Digest“, „Monopol“, and „Weltkunst“.

Oil on panel, 39.4 x 47.6 cm, ca. 1761
Vanishing Point Perspective

Jan Brueghel d. Ä.
VILLAGE STREET WITH DANCING FARMERS

 

Estimated price:
€ 230.000 – € 300.000

Jan Brueghel the Elder’s VILLAGE STREET WITH PEASANTS DANCING, once described by Klaus Ertz as a “treasure on copper”, is a quintessential example of Jan Brueghel’s excellent use of vanishing point perspective. The finely painted village idyll represents a work of exceptional quality. The painting’s provenance can be traced back to 1748, when the panel is known to have been housed in the “Kurfürstliche Galerie” at Schleissheim Palace before entering the collection of the Alte Pinakothek, where it remained until 1911. Via a Swiss private collection the work then entered the international art market in 1986 before disappearing from it again soon after. The work has been carefully handled throughout the ages and is thus preserved in exceptionally good condition.

Oil on copper, 11 x 16 cm, 1609

 

From the past season:
A quick look

Laura Weber on

Paul Bril
ARION RIDING THE DOLPHIN

 

Estimated price:
€ 40.000 – € 50.000
Result:
€ 47.000

Laura Weber, Old Masters expert
T +49 (0) 221 925729-72 | weber@lempertz.com

Oil on canvas (relined),
50.5 x 76.5 cm, ca. 1610/12

“‘We’ll also be bringing a picture with Jonah and the whale’, were the consignor’s words when she called to make the appointment. It turned out that the piece actually depicted the legend of Arion arriving on the dolphin. However, this paled to insignificance when I looked at the painting and realised it was the work of Paul Bril. Everything pointed towards this artist: The motif, the colour palette, the brushwork. When Dr. Francesca Cappelletti, an expert on Paul Bril, confirmed my suspicions, I was able to include the work in our auction with an estimate of € 40.000 – € 50.000 many times what the customer was expecting. It’s memories like these that I look back on with particular fondness.”

From the past season:
A quick look

Laura Weber on

Paul Bril
ARION RIDING THE DOLPHIN

 

Estimated price:
€ 40.000 – € 50.000
Result:
€ 47.000

Laura Weber, Old Masters expert
T +49 (0) 221 925729-72 | weber@lempertz.com

Oil on canvas (relined),
50.5 x 76.5 cm, ca. 1610/12

“‘We’ll also be bringing a picture with Jonah and the whale’, were the consignor’s words when she called to make the appointment. It turned out that the piece actually depicted the legend of Arion arriving on the dolphin. However, this paled to insignificance when I looked at the painting and realised it was the work of Paul Bril. Everything pointed towards this artist: The motif, the colour palette, the brushwork. When Dr. Francesca Cappelletti, an expert on Paul Bril, confirmed my suspicions, I was able to include the work in our auction with an estimate of € 40.000 – € 50.000 many times what the customer was expecting. It’s memories like these that I look back on with particular fondness.”