MEDIA ALERT: THE BACCHIC FIGURE SUPPORTING THE GLOBE BY ADRIEN DE VRIES REALIZES $27.9 MILLION (£17.7 MILLION/ €22.5 MILLION) AT THE INAUGURAL NEW YORK EXCEPTIONAL SALE

New York

New World Record Price for the Artist at Auction

 MANNERIST MASTERPIECE SOLD TO THE RIJKSMUSEUM IN THE NETHERLANDS

FOR FUTURE DISPLAY TO THE PUBLIC

New York – Christie’s is honored to announce that the magnificent Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe by Adrien de Vries was bought by the Rijksmuseum with the support of the Rembrandt Society, the BankGiro Loterij, VSB fund, Mondriaan fund and private donors. The Mannerist sculpture, which is widely recognized as a masterpiece by the 17th century artist known as the “Dutch Michaelangelo”, was won by the museum after a tense three-way phone bidding battle that lasted four minutes and captivated the audience at Christie’s Rockefeller Center saleroom in New York. The final price with premium of $27,885,000 (£17,743,735/ €22,503,724) marks a new world auction record for any work by de Vries.

Following the sale, Taco Dibbits, Director of Collections for the Rijksmuseum remarked: “We are thrilled to have acquired this exceptional work of art by the Dutch Michelangelo, Adriaen de Vries. Until today there was no sculpture by him in the Netherlands.”

Christie’s Jussi Pylkkanen, Global President of Christie’s and the auctioneer for the sale, commented: “The de Vries is a truly magnificent and rare bronze and it deserved to make an exceptional price. It follows the trend of masterpieces achieving outstanding prices at Christie’s throughout 2014”.

This masterpiece by Adriaen de Vries is one of the most important sculptures of the Mannerist period and its reappearance on the marketplace made for a hugely significant event. We could not be more proud to have had the opportunity to shepherd this work into a collection as important and remarkable as that of the Rijksmuseum”.

  • The sale of de Vries' Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe marks the second time this fall auction season that Christie’s has sold a major masterpiece to a public institution. In November, Christie’s sold Edouard Manet's Le Printemps to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where the Impressionist masterpiece was unveiled to the public just before the holiday season (see November release here).

 

  • The excellent results of the Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe reassert the continuing momentum of the masterpiece market, which has gone from strength to strength throughout the course of 2014 at Christie’s.

 

  • The last time that a major work by de Vries appeared on the auction market was on December 7, 1989, when The Dancing Fawn, was sold for £6.8 million, the previous auction record for the artist.

 

Adrien de Vries’ masterpiece is among the star lots of Christie’s inaugural New York Exceptional Sale. Complete results of the Exceptional Sale will be announced later on Thursday.

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. 

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