Skip to content

Three of Apollo’s Acquisitions of the Year

January 5, 2016
Lot 17. GIOVANNI DA RIMINI DOCUMENTED 1292 - 1309/14 LEFT WING OF A DIPTYCH WITH EPISODES FROM THE LIVES OF THE VIRGIN AND OTHER SAINTS: THE APOTHEOSIS OF AUGUSTINE; THE CORONATION OF THE VIRGIN; CATHERINE DISPUTING WITH THE PHILOSOPHERS; FRANCIS RECEIVING THE STIGMATA; AND JOHN THE BAPTIST IN THE WILDERNESS tempera on panel, gold ground, in an engaged frame 52.5 by 34.3 cm.; 20 5/8 by 13 1/2 in. Estimate: £2-3 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of £5 million (£5,682,500 with fees or $9,474,433). Click on image to enlarge.

Lot 17. GIOVANNI DA RIMINI
DOCUMENTED 1292 – 1309/14
LEFT WING OF A DIPTYCH WITH EPISODES FROM THE LIVES OF THE VIRGIN AND OTHER SAINTS: THE APOTHEOSIS OF AUGUSTINE; THE CORONATION OF THE VIRGIN; CATHERINE DISPUTING WITH THE PHILOSOPHERS; FRANCIS RECEIVING THE STIGMATA; AND JOHN THE BAPTIST IN THE WILDERNESS
tempera on panel, gold ground, in an engaged frame
52.5 by 34.3 cm.; 20 5/8 by 13 1/2 in.
Estimate: £2-3 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of £5 million (£5,682,500 with fees or $9,474,433).
Click on image to enlarge.

The art publication Apollo has a compiled a list of more than three dozen acquisitions of the year, several of which have appeared in previous entries in this blog.  Among them, the sensational left wing of a diptych by Giovanni da Rimini that was sold at Sotheby’s July 2014 Old Masters sale in London.  An export hold was imposed to prevent the work from leaving the UK, and one year later it was announced that the painting would become part of the National Gallery in London’s collection courtesy a donation from Ronald Lauder. As a museum statement at the time noted of the panel’s significance:

Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and other Saints – which is in excellent condition for a work over 700 years old – unites the exquisite detail of late Byzantine icons with a new, more expressive style. Its inclusion in the collection will allow the National Gallery for the first time to demonstrate to its visitors a key moment in European art, when Western painting (as we now know it) with its emphasis on observation and realism, was born.

Among the other works on Apollo’s list is this Jacob Ochtervelt that was sold at Sotheby’s January 2014 sale of Old Masters in New York.  The work was purchased by London-based dealer Johnny van Haeften who featured it at TEFAF in Maastricht, the Netherlands, with an asking price of $.7.5 million.  In October 2015, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC announced  it had acquired the picture.

Lot 38. JACOB OCHTERVELT ROTTERDAM 1634 – 1682 AMSTERDAM A CHILD AND NURSE IN THE FOYER OF AN ELEGANT TOWNHOUSE, THE PARENTS BEYOND signed and dated on floor lower right: J. Ochtervelt f./1663 oil on canvas 32 by 26 1/4 in.; 81.5 by 66.8 cm. Estimate: $3-4 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $3.8 million ($4,421,000 with the buyer’s premium).

Lot 38. JACOB OCHTERVELT
ROTTERDAM 1634 – 1682 AMSTERDAM
A CHILD AND NURSE IN THE FOYER OF AN ELEGANT TOWNHOUSE, THE PARENTS BEYOND
signed and dated on floor lower right: J. Ochtervelt f./1663
oil on canvas
32 by 26 1/4 in.; 81.5 by 66.8 cm.
Estimate: $3-4 million. This lot sold for a hammer price of $3.8 million ($4,421,000 with the buyer’s premium).

The Rijksmuseum made a major acquisition with the addition of an Adrien de Vries’ bronze figurative sculpture that had been missing for some 300 years. A Bronze Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe from 1626 sold at Christie’s December 2014 Exceptional Sale for a record $27.88 million (against a presale estimate of $15-25 million), establishing a new world record for the so-called “Dutch Michelangelo.”

Lot 10. A BRONZE BACCHIC FIGURE SUPPORTING THE GLOBE BY ADRIAEN DE VRIES (DIED 1626), 1626 Depicted wearing vine leaves in his hair, standing with his legs astride and hunched forward; with his arms upraised and supporting the globe; a tree trunk support by his proper left leg entwined with grapevines and with pan pipes hanging from it; all on an integrally cast square plinth decorated in shallow relief with leaves and fowers; signed and dated on the edge of the plinth ‘ADRIANVS FRIES 1626’; areas of oxidisation; minor repairs; the globe probably a 17th century replacement 43 in. (109 cm) high. Estimate: $15-25 million. This lot sold for

Lot 10. A BRONZE BACCHIC FIGURE SUPPORTING THE GLOBE
BY ADRIAEN DE VRIES (DIED 1626), 1626
Depicted wearing vine leaves in his hair, standing with his legs astride and hunched forward; with his arms upraised and supporting the globe; a tree trunk support by his proper left leg entwined with grapevines and with pan pipes hanging from it; all on an integrally cast square plinth decorated in shallow relief with leaves and fowers; signed and dated on the edge of the plinth ‘ADRIANVS FRIES 1626’; areas of oxidisation; minor repairs; the globe probably a 17th century replacement
43 in. (109 cm) high.
Estimate: $15-25 million. This lot sold for $27.88 million (inclusive of buyer’s premium).

The sale catalogue said of the work’s history:

The recent discovery of this Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe is a hugely signifcant event, bringing to light, as it does, a major, unrecorded bronze executed in the fnal year of the life of its creator, Adriaen de Vries. The bronze stood unrecognised atop a column in the centre of a pool in a schloss courtyard for at least 300 years where it is recorded in an engraving of circa 1700. Although, in his maturity, Adriaen de Vries was considered to be the most important sculptor working in bronze in all of Europe, his celebrity rapidly declined after his death.

cover

And of the work’s iconography:

The iconography of this bronze group is unusual in that it appears to include elements from more than one mythological narrative. A male fgure carrying a globe immediately suggests Atlas or Hercules, although both these fgures are normally represented as more mature men with beards. The grapevines on the tree stump and the pan pipes are associated with Bacchus and his cult, but there is nothing among the stories of Bacchus that includes a globe. One could argue that it represents an unusual confation of the stories of Hercules Supporting the Globe and Hercules at the Crossroads. In this interpretation the pan pipes and grapes represent the path of sin and indulgence, while the wreath in the fgure’s hair could be a victor’s wreath, having chosen the path of righteousness.

 

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: