New York

An Expanded Series of Sales Devoted to the European Artistic Traditions of the 14th-19th Centuries

Rediscovered Masterpieces by Bronzino, Botticelli, and Carracci to Lead the Series of Five Sales

New York Christie’s is pleased to announce Old Masters Week in New York, which will take place from 26-31 January 2013.  The week will include the three annual sales of Old Master Paintings and Old Master Drawings as well as two exciting additional sales. The sales begin on January 29 with Albrecht Durer—Masterpieces from a Private Collection, featuring some of the artist’s most important prints to come to auction in recent history. This will be followed on January 30 by Renaissance, a sale celebrating the arts of that period, including masterworks by Fra Bartolommeo, Botticelli, Bronzino and Cranach, among others.  Comprised of over 400 lots combined, each of the five sales in Old Masters Week will offer works of outstanding quality, rarity and provenance for collectors of all tastes and levels.

Sales Schedule

29 January | 2:00pm   | Albrecht Dürer – Masterpieces from a Private Collection

30 January | 10:00am | Old Master Paintings Part 1

30 January | 11:00am | Renaissance

31 January | 2:00pm   | Old Master & Early British Drawings & Watercolors

31 January | 5:00pm   | Old Master Paintings Part 2


Christie’s will host two sessions of Old Master Paintings, the first on 30 January and the second on 31 January.   These magnificent sales are composed of over 150 lots and feature highly important works by Annibal Carracci, Jean Siméon Chardin, Giovanni Paolo Panini, among others, bringing together a remarkable selection from the leading masters of European art.

Jean Siméon Chardin’s The Embroiderer (pictured above; estimate: $3,000,000-5,000,000) and its former companion piece, The Young Draftsman, were among the artist’s first genre scenes, datable to around 1733. The two compositions, versions of which were exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1738, were the most popular that the artist ever devised.  Despite this, only two versions of The Embroiderer are known today: one in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm and the present painting.  Small, gently colored and exquisitely painted, The Embroiderer  depicts a young domestic servant, surrounded by the tools of her trade, seeming to pause for a moment of quiet reflection, eyes closed, interrupting her work for a deep but momentary immersion in her own inner world. A tightly focused image of absorption, Chardin crafted his little picture with a degree of painterly intensity and concentration to match his subject. 

Annibale Carracci’s recently rediscovered Annunciation (pictured left; estimate: $1,500,000-2,500,000) constitutes a major addition to the artist’s oeuvre. A demurely attired Mary kneels while reading in her chamber as the archangel Gabriel alights on a cloud, pointing toward the emanation of light from above. The basket of knitting at her side alludes to the legend of the Virgin’s upbringing in the Temple at Jerusalem where she would spin and weave the priests’ vestments, while the white lily in Gabriel’s hand symbolizes her purity. The Annunciation was previously only known from a decades-old black and white photograph, and only now can its rich and sensuous coloristic effects, virtuoso paint handling, and warmth of human feeling be fully appreciated.

Giovanni Paolo Panini’s View of Saint Peter’s Square, Rome and View of the Campidoglio, Rome, are two magnificent vedute that will be offered separately in the first session of Old Master Paintings (pictured page 3; Saint Peter’s estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000; Campidoglio estimate: $3,000,000-5,000,000). Painted in 1750, both were commissioned, along with other works by Panini and Canaletto, by William Holbech for his family’s seat at Farnborough Hall, Warwickshire (National Trust). The pictures were installed in stucco frames which had been specially designed by William Perritt of York in the same year the canvasses were commissioned. Holbech’s placement of the pictures within fixed stucco frames was unusual in England at this time, and was probably inspired by what he had seen on his Grand Tour of northern Italy in the early 1730s, where such installations were common. The View of Saint Peter’s originally hung as an overmantel in the Hall, while the View of the Campidoglio was the overmantel in the Saloon. A View of the Interior of St. Peter’s was also part of the same commission; originally displayed in the Saloon on a wall adjacent to the View of the Campidoglio, it is now preserved in the Detroit Institute of Arts.


On 30 January, Christie’s New York will present Renaissance, a sale devoted to the artistic traditions that flourished in Europe from 1300 to 1600.  A highlight of Old Masters Week in Rockefeller Plaza, the sale will celebrate the golden age that produced some of the most extraordinary innovations in poetry, music and literature, painting, sculpture, and architecture.  Renaissance will feature a select group of paintings, works on paper, tapestries, prints and maiolica from some of the greatest masters of the era who were active throughout Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. Masterpieces by Sandro Botticelli, Fra Bartolommeo, Bronzino, and Lucas Cranach the Younger are among the highlights of the sale, which is comprised of 51 lots.

Leading the sale is premier Florentine portraitist Agnolo Bronzino’s  Portrait of a Young Man with a Book, one of the most important Renaissance portraits remaining in private hands (estimate: $12,000,000-18,000,000).

For more information on this sale, please click here.

OLD MASTER & Early British Drawings & Watercolors

On 31 January, the sale of Old Master & Early British Drawings & Watercolors will offer works of remarkable quality and rarity from several North American private collections.  A highlight of Old Masters Week, the sale is comprised of over 160 works, offering one of the strongest selections in recent years at Christie’s New York. Exceptional examples of European drawings from the 16th to the 19th centuries will be offered, with highlights including masterpieces by Parmigianino, Claude Lorrain, François Boucher, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Thomas Gainsborough, Théodore Géricault, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. 

Among the highlights is Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ magnificent large-scale portrait of Comtesse Charles d’Agoult, née Marie de Flavigny, and her daughter Claire d’Agoult, which was executed in 1849 (estimate: $1,500,000-2,500,000).

For more information on this sale, please click here.

Albrecht Dürer – Masterpieces from a Private Collection

Christie’s is honored to present the sale of Albrecht Dürer Masterpieces from a Private Collection as part of Old Masters Week. The sale, which will take place 29 January, features 62 exceptional impressions by Albrecht Dürer, and constitutes one of the most important collections of his prints ever offered at auction. Encompassing a wide range of subject matter, both religious and secular, and mediums - engravings, woodcuts and etchings - the collection was amassed with the objective of adding only the very best examples. The sale is expected to realize in excess of $4.6million.

Melencolia I (estimate: $400,000-600,000), engraved in 1514, is one the most enigmatic images in the history of western art. The subject is probably an allegory of melancholy, but the details of its iconography have intrigued and inspired countless art historians and scholars.

For more information on this sale, please click here.

A press preview for Old Masters Week will be held on 24 January at 11:00am

To RSVP, please contact the New York Press Office (+1 212.636.2680).

 Complete eCatalogues are available via the following links:

Albrecht Dürer – Masterpieces from a Private Collection

Old Master Paintings Part I


Old Master & Early British Drawings & Watercolors

Old Master Paintings Part II

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in first half of 2017 that totalled £2.35 billion / $3 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.