Independent Art Voice

Exceptional Van Dyck Under The Hammer At Christie’s

Sir Anthony Van Dyck

Christie’s auction on Tuesday 2nd December 2014 will be ‘Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale’, in London; will feature a remarkable portrait by Sir Anthony van Dyck of the musician Hendrick Liberti. The work was in the collection of King Charles I at Whitehall by 1639; the piece has not been seen for almost a century, since its sale at Christie’s by the 8th Duke of Grafton in 1923.

The auction at Chritie’s will present a selection of 36 high quality works that have been curated with the aim of being new to the market and attractively priced. Other highlights of the sale will include a beautifully preserved and barely known masterpiece of Willem van de Velde the Younger’s early maturity, A kaag and other vessels off an inlet on the Dutch coast, 1661 which is estimated to go for £1.2 to £1.8 million; a depiction of Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi on the Grand Canal by Giovanni Antonio Canal, il Canaletto which is estimated to go at the auction for £800,000 to £1.2 million; two superb and rarely treated subjects by Pieter Brueghel the Younger: A country brawl, 1610 and The Good Shepherd – the first is estimated at £700,000 to £1 million, witht he latter at £800,000 to £1.2 million.

There is also a classic and previously unpublished view of The Molo, Venice by Michele Giovanni Marieschi which is estimated to sell for £500,000 to £800,000; and also a selection of early Flemish works including a Portrait of a young nobleman by Joos van Cleve; the work is estimated to go under the hammer for £400,000 to £600,000 – and a Holy Family by Jan Provoost – estimated to sell for £250,000 to £350,000.

This auction period also includes property from Petworth House with workss in the Evening and also the Day sales, on 3rd December.

The Van Dyck Portrait of Hendrick Liberti which is circa 1600-1669, was owned by the artist’s greatest single patron, King Charles I, who held at the time, one of the most outstanding collections of pictures in northern Europe until its dispersal in 1650. The work is one of the more interesting portraits of van Dyck’s second Antwerp period. The grand portrait was at Whitehall by 1639, and was subsequently acquired by the statesman, Henry Bennet, who was the 1st Earl of Arlington.

The painting remained in the possession of his descendants, the Dukes of Grafton, until its sale at Christie’s in 1923. The work was included in major exhibitions in 1899 and 1900, and detailed in leading 20th century literature on the artist by Lionel Cust and Gustav Glück among others. But until now; this Van Dyck masterpiece has not been seen – even by scholars in the field, or privately viewed by any interested professionals – for almost a century.


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