ART NEWS Click here to read about the recently discovered CARAVAGGIO!   A portrait of Saint Augustine unearthed from 1600!

PORTRAITS have always been popular, even when we don’t know who the model is/was.  You probably know about Andrea Del Sarto’s wife? She was a widely acclaimed beauty who posed as the virgin Mary for several great artists, Raphael, for example. In life she was the bane of her husband’s existence, so it is said. Here she is as Lucrezia Borgia…what more can we say?

Check out the small portrait on these pages of the unknown lady in green in a gold lace wooden frame. You may want to consder her again for an antiques Roadshow appraisal after reading this post. Take another look at her.

“A Portrait of a Young Gentleman “by Sir Peter Lely, just sold at Sotheby’s on December 14th for 3,750 Euros, and Peter Paul Rubens “Portrait of a Lady” (also unnamed) estimated to sell for between 12,000 and 18, ooo American dollars, sold for $164,500.

Also, at Christies in Paris, another portrait of the poet, Rimbaud, (litho) this one by Fernand Leger was estimated at 200 to 300 Euros, and sold for 2,250 Euros (close to $5,000)…Check out my Pablo Picasso (litho) on these pages for $1200 before I raise the price. Picasso is the highest priced artist worldwide. His painting, “Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust” sold last year at auction for 106.5 million dollars.

Just recently, at Sotheby’s, Anthony Van Dyck’s “Moses and the Brazen Serpent” (not half as exciting as its title) sold for 86,500 dollars. The estimate was only from 40,000 to 60,ooo so you can see the frantic bidding and the interest in Dutch Masters and Biblical subjects. ( I have a beautiful old Master original etching by Cornelis Bloemart, the Dutch Master of Utrecht, on these pages: “Mary Magdalen Reading. ” Check it out for yourself!) Prices are rising every day in the art world. They will, undoubtedly rise here as well.

When in London, why not stop in at Christies at 8 King Road and  enjoy the show! Last year they sold 5 billion dollars in art globally. Up 53% from the year before. The Chinese buyers account for some of that spectacular rise.

Art is, after all, another form of currency/trade/investment.

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal tells of the spike in Chinese buyers at the art auction house, Sotheby’s, in Hong Kong recently.  The spring sale brought in millions. For example, a thin 18th C. necklace brought in 67.86 million dollars and a jade seal brought 95.86 million. Nicholas Chow, a senior director at Sotheby’s said, “The prices were incredible.  The bidding was extremely fierce.”

News from Arabia:  The Emirates NBD Bank has opened a special division for art investors as an alternative to the stock market.


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