Christie’s Old Masters Evening Sale offers paintings, together with drawings and sculptures, spanning six centuries of European art. Highlights include two predella panels with scenes from the Life of Saint Clare by Giovanni di Paolo, one of the greatest visionary painters of mid-quattrocento Siena, from the Harry Fuld collection. The sale features a remarkable selection of still lifes by some of the leading exponents of the genre; an exquisite flowerpiece by Ambrosius Bosschaert, along with beautiful examples by Jan Breughel the Elder, Abraham Mignon and Daniel Seghers. There are a number of portraits, most notable among which is Gainsborough’s charming double portrait of the Villebois brothers. The sale also includes six drawings by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, which are among the finest examples from the celebrated Punchinello series. Drawn towards the end of the artist’s life, the series (totalling 105 sheets) illustrates the life of Punchinello, a central character from Italian popular theatre, or commedia dell’arte, and is arguably Tiepolo’s greatest artistic achievement. Sculpture highlights include a highly important Renaissance crucifix made by Gasparo Mola, the goldsmith to the Medici family, made of 22-24 karat gold, and an exceptional alabaster relief attributed to the Flemish sculptor Cornelis Floris.
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