London, King Street • 7 December 2016

London – This December as part of Classic Week, Christie’s will present the sale ‘From Ancient to Modern: A Distinguished Private Collection’, which includes paintings and decorative arts spanning a broad range of cultures and periods. This diverse group of works epitomises a contemporary approach to collecting: not purely driven by category but embracing interconnecting cultural relationships and beliefs. Taken together, these eclectic acquisitions complement one another: the statue of a girl dating from the Hellenistic period (£80,000 – 120,000) is an elegant contrast to Pablo Gargallo’s Espagnole à la mantille (Version I) (£150,000 – 200,000). Beautiful examples of early Spanish religious art are offered alongside works by Giambattista Tiepolo, Juan de Arellano and Bernard Buffet. The selection of outstanding decorative arts, spanning over 1,000 years is testament to the collector’s knowledge and discerning eye.

The auction is led by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s tender masterpiece Saint Joseph and the Christ Child (estimate £3,000,000 – 5,000,000), which will be on view in Mexico City from 11 October and in New York from 21 October. 

Renowned as one of the greatest artists of 17th century Spain, Murillo’s greatest contribution to Baroque art was a shift from the strict interpretation of Catholic religious themes to an infinitely more sympathetic and human approach. With superb provenance this present painting demonstrates the artist’s excellent sense of composition and application of paint, echoing the flawless techniques of Titian and Rubens.

Another highlight is Fernando Botero's Mujer Sentada (Seated Woman), (estimate: £120,000 – 150,000). This work perfectly demonstrates Botero’s ability for his sensual nudes to transcend the two-dimensional limitations of the canvas, as the monumentality of his figures is nowhere more fully appreciated than in his sculptural works. The voluptuous female form remains one of the artist's most emblematic and once again Botero has created a playful visual reality that surpasses representational convention.

Spanish artists and craftsmen are well represented and highlights include not only an exquisite oil on copper by Luis Paret Y Alcázar and a striking early still life by Alejandro de Loarte but also a 17th-century Cuenca Carpet. Juxtaposed in the collector’s house was the Cubist-inspired Gargallo bronze masque of Kiki de Montparnasse which was a modern counterpoint to an elaborate gilt-decorated 17th-century Vargueño, on which it stood.

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in the first half of 2018 that totalled £2.97 billion / $4.04 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. 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.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

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