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Sarah de Clercq joined Christie's Amsterdam in 2000 as a Specialist in the 19th Century European Art department. In 2005 she was appointed head of the department and under her watch Christie's has established itself as market leader in the field, achieving numerous world auction records such as the €760,250 for an Amsterdam city view by George Hendrik Breitner and €1,412,000 for a winter landscape by Barend Cornelis Koekkoek, which Sarah personally retrieved from the dust in a British guest room. In 2009, Sarah became head of the Impressionist and Modern Art department in Amsterdam. Sarah is a certified valuer for 19th Century European Art, focusing on Dutch, Belgian and Northern European paintings. She has published widely on the subject, including the catalogue raisonné on Sientje Mesdag-van Houten, and finished a book about Hague Impressionist artist J.E.H. Akkeringa in 2010. Sarah studied Art History at Groningen University, winning the national The Hague School prize for her thesis in 1996. Sarah speaks Dutch, English, German and French.
Sophie Bremers studied History of Art at the University of Leiden. During her internship at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam she researched the 16th Century Italian armour collection by Pompeo della Chiesa and graduated on the subject in 2005. Thereafter, Sophie made her debut in the auction world at the Old Master Paintings Department of one of the premier international auction houses. In 2008, she joined Christie's as a Junior Specialist at the Old Masters and 19th Century Art department, where she was promoted to Associate Specialist in 2010 and to Specialist in 2013. Since 2009, Sophie is one of youngest auctioneers in The Netherlands. She speaks Dutch, German and English.
Richard Knight began his career working as a picture cataloguer with Phillips Auctioneers in 1970. From 1973 until 1984 he worked as an independent art dealer but devoted much of his time to studying and practising the conservation of paintings, latterly from offices and a studio in New Bond Street, London W1. In 1984 he was appointed a director of P&D Colnaghi & Co. Ltd, 14 Old Bond Street, London W1. In 1986 he was appointed Joint Managing Director with responsibility for the London, New York and Paris galleries. In 1996 he joined forces with Nicholas Hall (President, Colnaghi USA) and they formed the art dealing business, Hall & Knight Ltd, operating in London and New York. In 2004 Christie’s acquired their companies and appointed them Joint International Directors in the Old Master Picture Department. They served by rotation on The Board of Christie’s. In January 2012, Knight was appointed Co-Chairman of Old Masters and 19th Century Art. Richard Knight has formerly served on the Executive Committee of the Society of London Art Dealers (two terms) and also served twice as Joint Chairman of the Executive Committee of the European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF Maastricht).
An Old Masters specialist at Christie’s since 1988, Paul Raison was Head of Department at Christie’s Paris for three years and in 1996 returned to London to become Head of the Old Master Pictures department at Christie’s London. Paul led the outstanding sale of Old Master Pictures in London in December 2000 which realised a grand total of £56.7 million, the highest total for a sale in this category at the time. Holding a particular interest in Spanish and French pictures, Paul has made some exciting discoveries, including an extraordinary miniature depicting Two Orientals painted on ivory by Goya (London, 1997); a Holy Family by the great Flemish artist Gerard David (New York, 2003, $1 million), as well as works by El Greco and Canaletto. In 2003 Paul negotiated the private sale to the Louvre of another important re-discovery, the portrait of the great German art patron Jakob Fugger by Hans Maler.
John Stainton is a Senior Department Head for British Pictures and Sporting Art. John joined the company in 1990 after completing a two-year diploma at Christie's Education. He then became a member of the British Picture department in 1992 and was appointed Head of Department, British Pictures 1500-1850, in 1994. The last stand-alone sales of early British Pictures were held in 2006, a year which saw Christie's secure 65% market share. Since 2007 early British Pictures in London have been presented alongside continental Old Master Pictures (as has always been the case in New York), enabling them to be introduced to an even broader, more international client base. Throughout his twenty years at Christie's, John has overseen landmark sales in the British Art field including establishing world records for works by Sir Peter Lely, Richard Wilson, George Stubbs, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Thomas Lawrence, David Wilkie, J.M.W. Turner, and Sir Edwin Landseer. For many years John has also overseen Christie's highly successful worldwide sales of Sporting Art and, in addition to George Stubbs, John has a particular interest in and knowledge of works by Sir Alfred Munnings.
James joined Christie's in 1985 and has worked for our Old Master Pictures departments in both New York and London. Since 1996, James has been part of the Christie's team of auctioneers, becoming Senior International Old Master and British Pictures Auctioneer, and has taken auctions that range from the Collection of Marilyn Monroe to the sale of Rembrandt's Portrait of a man in a red doublet. After over twenty years experience of working in the art market, he has established extensive contacts among private collectors throughout Europe and America, and has been responsible for sales of some of the most significant Old Masters over that period. Since joining the department, he has been actively involved several record-setting sales, most recently $35,856,000, the world auction record for any British work of art, for Turner¹s Guidecca, La Donna della Salute and San Giorgio (April 2006). Earlier highlights include $8,900,000, the world auction record for any Spanish Old Master, for Velasquez¹s Saint Rufina (January 1999); and $3,500,000 for Calvary by the Master of the Death of Saint Nicholas of Münster (January 2000).
Born in San Sebastian (Spain) in 1962. Law degree from University of Complutense, Madrid. Varez completed a two-year MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, specializing in Spanish Old Masters Art between the XVI and XVII centuries. During his second year he specialized in “The portrait of European Courts in the sixteenth century”, taught by Professor Lorne Campdell, who conducted his dissertation “The Court portrait of Elizabeth of Valois”. Juan Varez first joined Christie's in 1991 as an Old Masters specialist. In 1997, Varez moved to Christie’s New York to work at the Old Masters department, also collaborating with the Latin American Art department and becoming, in 1999, head of this department. In February 2000, Varez moved back to Spain after being appointed Managing Director of Christie’s, the position which he still holds today. He has taught Art and Market classes for postgraduate students at the “Instituto de Empresa” and “Instituto IArt”, both in Madrid. In addition to this, he has lectured on the art market several times in institutions such as the “Circulo Ecuestre” of Barcelona.
Mr. Hall, one half of Hall & Knight, one of the world’s most eminent Old Master pictures dealing partnerships in the world, joined Christie’s in order to expand and further strengthen Christie’s business in Old Master pictures. He will continue to work closely with Richard Knight, the other half of Hall & Knight, who is based at Christie’s London. Mr. Hall has always retained an interest in the art historical side of art dealing. He has been involved in the production of a number of scholarly catalogues, including Gothic to Renaissance; 1789 French Art during the Revolution; and Claude to Corot: the Development of French Landscape Painting. Mr. Hall is a long-time supporter of the Frick Art Reference Library, and a Chairman and Trustee of the Council of Associates. He is based in New York.
Ben Hall started his career at Christie's in London in 1988. During his tenure in the art auction business, with a few-year period with a major auction house in New York, Mr. Hall has had the opportunity to build strong relationships with both private collectors and curators at major museums throughout the US and Europe. He has been credited with numerous significant discoveries, including masterpieces by Poussin, Canaletto, Rembrandt and Rubens. Ben Hall has particular knowledge and interest in Dutch and Flemish paintings.
Alan Wintermute is a Vice President of Christie's Inc. and of Christie’s. As a specialist in Old Master Paintings, his responsibilities include appraising and valuing Old Master paintings for auction, insurance and fair market value appraisals; researching and cataloguing for auctions; and business-getting. Prior to joining Christie's Inc. in June 1998, Mr. Wintermute was Director, Colnaghi USA, New York and prior to that he was Assistant Director, Stair Sainty Matthiesen Gallery, New York. He also served as Head of Paintings for Artemis Fine Arts, New York and London. He has curated a number of exhibitions and authored the accompanying catalogues. These include, for Stair Sainty Matthiesen Gallery: The First Painters of the King: French Royal Taste from Louis XIV to the Revolution, which also travelled to the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Columbus Museum of Art (1985-1986), and François Boucher: His Circle and Influence (1987). For Colnaghi his exhibitions include: 1789: French Art During the Revolution (1989); Claude to Corot: The Development of Landscape Painting in France (1990); and The French Portrait, 1550-1850 (1996). He curated the acclaimed exhibition Watteau and His World: French Drawing from 1700 to 1750 (1999-2000) for The Frick Collection, New York and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. An expert on French paintings and drawings of the 18th century, Mr. Wintermute lectures extensively on the subject and has published widely on the artist Jean-Antoine Watteau, recently in the exhibition catalogues The Age of Watteau, Chardin and Fragonard: Masterpieces of French Genre Painting (2003) for Ottawa, Washington and Berlin, and The Splendor of Ruins in French Landscape Painting, 1630-1800 (2005) for Oberlin and Houston. He is the author of a forthcoming catalogue raisonne of Watteau’s paintings. Mr. Wintermute is a former Member of the Commissioner’s Art Advisory Panel of the Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury. He was graduated from Vassar College and The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.
Jennifer Wright is the specialist for Old Master Drawings in New York, where she is responsible for the annual January sale of Old Master and 19th Century Drawings. Jennifer has over 10 years experience working in the art market. Prior to joining Christie's, Jennifer worked as a research assistant at the Pierpont Morgan Library where she worked on the collection catalogue of the library's French drawings. Jennifer was previously Gallery Director at a New York drawings and prints gallery, where she organised gallery and fair exhibitions as well as catalogue productions. Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History at Georgetown University and a Master of Arts degree from New York University's Institute of Fine Art.
Elvire de Maintenant, a graduate of ESSEC and l’Ecole du Louvre, worked at the Musée de la Renaissance d’Ecouen before joining the Old Masters team at Christie’s in 1997, first in London and then in Paris where she was promoted to specialist. She is a specialist in the Northern School and French School (and in particular of Michel Garnier, on whom she has published) and has participated in all the Parisian sales of Old Masters organized by Christie’s. She played a significant role in the sale of Guitar Player by Nicolaes Berchem, which sold for €1,4M in 2003-- the record for an old masters painting sold in France in that year-- and of the portrait of Jean-Pierre Delahaye by Jacques-Louis David, which sold for €2,1M in 2006 and was acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum.
Olivier Lefeuvre graduated from l’Ecole du Louvre with a PhD in art history at the Sorbonne University and spent the last six years as a collaborator of Pierre Rosenberg, honourary chairman of the Louvre. Olivier participated in the organisation of several major exhibitions of paintings and French art of the 17th and 18th century – including the Nicolas Poussin et la Nature exhibition at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York – and contributed to numerous books and articles, notably on Nicolas Poussin. He has published several studies in leading art historical journals both in France and abroad, among them The Burlington Magazine, La Revue de l’Art and La Revue du Louvre. Having been a university lecturer for several years, he is the author of a monograph and a catalogue on Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg (1740–1812), the Franco-English painter of landscape and history. He is also the curator of a forthcoming exhibition on this artist, which will be held in autumn 2012 in Strasbourg. Olivier Lefeuvre joined the department of Old Master Paintings at Christie’s Paris in March 2012.
Hélène Rihal, who holds a (DEA) in art history, is a specialist in 18th century French drawings and in particular on the work of Charles Parrocel (1688-1752), official painter of King Louis XV. She recently participated in the drawings exhibition at the Ecole Nationale Superieur des Beaux-Arts in Paris and to the creation of the production “Une dynastie de Peintres, les Parrocel”. Helene Rihal began her career by working in several museums, including the Musée National de la Renaissance d’Ecouen and the graphic arts department at the Musée des beaux-arts de Valenciennes. She joined Christie’s in the Old Masters department before becoming a specialist in the drawings department in July 2006. Among her greatest achievements are the sale of a beautiful drawing by Alexandre-François Desportes titled Etude de chien, with a presale estimate of €50,000–70,000, and which sold in Paris in April 2008 for €186,250. She was also key in the sale of a private drawings collection from 1500-1900 in March 2007, that sold fo €2,086,060. Additionally, she also sold a drawing by Hubert Robert titled Notre Dame de Paris, which was sold for $76,900 in January 2009 in New York.