London Auction: Sorolla soars above estimate, Rubens reaps $13 million

  • July 06, 2010 16:23

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Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (Spanish, 1863-1923) Niña en la playa, Valencia, fetched £1,441,250 ($2,186,376) at Christie's London.

A Peter Paul Rubens portrait of a bearded commander in battle armor led the charge at Christie's Old Master & 19th c. Paintings sale Tuesday evening. A solid total of £42.3 million ($64.2 million) fell within the £36.9–55.3 million pre-sale estimate, marking the third highest-grossing sale for Christie's London in the category, according to artinfo.

Fetching £9,001,250 ($13,654,896; with buyer's premium), against a pre-sale estimate of £8,000,000 - £12,000,000, the Rubens came from the Spencer family collection, and hung at Althorp, the childhood home of Princess Diana, since 1802.

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen, Westphalia 1577-1640 Antwerp) Portrait of a commander, three-quarter-length, being dressed for battle, brought £9,001,250 ($13,654,896) at Christie's London.

The 52-lot auction (70% sold) was also buoyed by another picture from the Althorp collection. Slightly exceeding its low estimate, reaching £5,193,250($7,878,160), was "King David" by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, nicknamed 'il Guercino.'

Pencz’s Portrait of Sigismund Baldinger, garnered a strong £5,641,250 ($8.6 million) for the robust sitter and an auction record for the artist. Bellini’s Madonna and Child in a Landscape also snagged an auction record for the artist with a final price of £3,513,250 ($5.3 million) with buyer's premium.

Among the lots exceeding estimates was a light, bright impresssionist scene by Joaquín Sorolla Featuring a little girl on the beach in Valencia, Spain, the seascape was painted in the summer of 1908, at the peak of Sorolla's career, for his highly-successful 1909 exhibition at the Hispanic Society of America. The final price of £1,441,250($2,186,376) soared past an estimate of £800,000 - £1,200,000.

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