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  • Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 4 May 2021

CLASSIC WEEK OLD MASTERS EVENING SALE - BELLOTTO

OLD MASTERS EVENING SALE

8 July 2021 – Live

BELLOTTO’S VIEW OF VERONA WITH THE PONTE DELLE NAVI

THE SUPREME MASTERPIECE FROM BELLOTTO’S EARLY CAREER

 

LONDON – Christie’s is pleased to announce Bernardo Bellotto’s majestic View of Verona with the Ponte delle Navi as one of the leading highlights in the forthcoming Old Masters Evening Sale, taking place live on 8 July at Christie’s King Street. This is part of a marquee series of sales comprising this season’s Classic Week calendar.

Bernardo Bellotto painted View of Verona with the Ponte delle Navi in circa 1745-47, when the artist was still in his mid-twenties. This work is the supreme masterpiece from the artist’s early career, along with its’ pair – Verona from the Ponte Nuova looking upstream with the Castel San Pietro (Powis Castle, the National Trust).

The prodigiously talented nephew of Canaletto, Bellotto is celebrated as one of the greatest topographical view painters, instrumental in the development of the genre across Europe in the eighteenth century. This painting showcases his extraordinary talent for accurately rendering topographical details, for capturing the atmospheric light of a scene - as the sun highlights different aspects of the buildings, reflects off the water and casts a dramatic shadow across the foreground - as well as his skill at depicting narrative detail. The magnificent scale of this painting was unprecedented in Bellotto’s work and it set the course of his subsequent development at the courts of Dresden, Vienna and Munich.

The painting has a distinguished British provenance dating back to 1771. It last appeared at auction at Christie’s in 1971, when it was acquired by the present owner and it has been on long term loan to the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh since 1973. 

Henry Pettifer, Head of Old Masters, Christie’s London comments, Painted on an epic scale, View of Verona with the Ponte delle Navi marks a highpoint in the career of Bernardo Bellotto.  It is a picture that defined his artistic vision and shaped the extraordinary pan-European success he enjoyed as a topographical view painter.  It remains one of very last monumental canvases by the artist still in private hands’.

Henry continues, ‘It will be a great honour to present this spectacular painting to the market, as the centrepiece to our forthcoming Old Masters sale on July 8th, exactly 50 years after it was last sold at Christie’s in 1971’.


About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.