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posted November 02, 2006 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 1   Click Here to Email 1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pollock painting sold for record $140 mln

A painting by artist Jackson Pollock has been sold for about $140 million, which would make it the highest price ever paid for a painting, The New York Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

Citing experts who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the Times reported that Hollywood mogul David Geffen had sold the painting "No. 5, 1948" to Mexican financier David Martinez in a deal brokered by Sotheby's Tobias Meyer.

If the Pollock painting sale is confirmed, it would surpass the previous world record price paid for a painting, which was set in June when cosmetics magnate Ronald S. Lauder paid $135 million for a 1907 portrait by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.

Geffen, Martinez and Sotheby's were not immediately available for comment.

The Times described Martinez as a "megabuyer" of modern art who had purchased works by masters such as Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko in recent years.

"No. 5, 1948" is about 4 by 8 feet and features Pollock's drip-and-pour style in a tangle of red, yellow and blue.

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HollywoodProducer
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posted November 02, 2006 10:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My 4 year old daughter painted something similar last week. She doesn't have the name of Pollack to get $140 million but maybe she could get $75-100 million. I'll contact Sothebys.

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fred
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posted November 02, 2006 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry, HP, I've seen your daughter's work. She just doesn't have "it".

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fred
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posted November 02, 2006 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More details...
-------------------
Intrigue Builds: Tribune Now Considering a Sell-Off

By E&P Staff and The Associated Press

Published: November 02, 2006 10:10 AM ET

CHICAGO The intrigue surrounding the troubled Tribune Co. continues to swirl. How else to explain news that L.A. mogul David Geffen sold a Jackson Pollock painting last night for a record price -- about $140 million -- was taken as further evidence that he intends to buy the Los Angeles Times any week now? Recently he sold two other classic paintings for $143.5 million.

Indeed, with bids for the mammoth Tribune Co. coming in far lower than expected, the media giant is telling prospective bidders that individual pieces are now available for sale, according to published reports.

Tribune Co. representatives made a series of calls Wednesday signaling their new intention to those who have expressed interest in the company's individual holdings, according to unnamed sources cited Thursday in the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

The company put itself on the auction block in late September, and statements by Chief Executive Dennis FitzSimons at the time made clear that officials would prefer to sell the entire company but would keep their options open.

"In order to maximize shareholder value, our initial focus is determining the best strategic alternatives for the company and its publishing and broadcast groups as a whole, before evaluating strategic alternatives for individual business units," FitzSimons said in a statement in September.

Quoting unnamed people involved in the company's sale, media outlets said the bids offered up so far have been lackluster. The Tribune Co. owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Cubs, WGN-TV and several other media outlets nationwide.

Three investor groups have submitted preliminary, nonbinding bids for Tribune Co., the Tribune reported, citing unnamed sources.

One group consists of Fort Worth-based Texas Pacific Group and Boston-based Thomas H. Lee Partners. The other bids came from Boston-based Bain Capital and an alliance made up of Chicago's Madison Dearborn Partners, New York-based Apollo Management and Rhode Island-based Providence Equity Partners.

However, investors have shown the strongest interest in the company's individual units, including the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The (Baltimore) Sun and The Hartford Courant, the report said.

Billionaire Ron Burkle, business leader Eli Broad and Hollywood mogul Geffen have voiced interest in the Los Angeles Times, but no formal offer is said to have been made. Besides the Pollock sell off, Geffen recently raised millions by selling a deKooning and a Johns.

The New York Times today suggests that Gannett may be interested in Florida papers in Orland and Fort Lauderdale, while MediaNews Group could be looking at The Hartford (Ct.) Courant and The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa.

The Times quotes a "person involved" who cautioned that bids so far were low for a reason. The papers up for grabs are all underperforming. "Look at the Knight Ridder papers that were sold to individuals," he said. "They are mainly doing badly."

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posted November 03, 2006 04:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 1   Click Here to Email 1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NY fall art auctions feature prizes and altruism By Christopher Michaud
Fri Nov 3, 9:49 AM ET


Led by Picassos, Cezannes and Warhols, some likely to fetch $50 million or more, the upcoming art auctions at Christie's and Sotheby's stand to set records and do more than just line the pockets of the super rich.

An air of altruism surrounds the autumn auctions of November 7 and 8, which boast noteworthy collections of public-spirited benefactors.

"There's a definite spirit of a kind of philanthropy that's a little more noticeable than I've seen in awhile," said David Norman, Sotheby's chairman of Impressionist and Modern art.

"People who have had tremendous success materially are selling not for investment cash, but are looking at what they can do with it," Norman said, such as funding foundations or charities.

With a pre-sale estimate of $350 million to $500 million, Christie's Impressionist and Modern evening event is poised to set a record for the largest one-evening take.

One of the most closely watched lots will be Gustav Klimt's "Adele Bloch-Bauer II," being sold by Christie's on behalf of the heirs of Adele and Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, an Austrian industrialist who lost his collection fleeing the Nazis until its restitution earlier this year.

Estimated to sell for $40 million to $60 million, the portrait is a companion to "Adele Bloch-Bauer I," which last summer sold for $135 million, then the most expensive work of art in history.

Christie's President Marc Porter said the inclusion of the portrait and three other Klimts returned to the family would make Wednesday's Impressionist and Modern art sale "Christie's New York's most important auction ever."

In addition, the Zurich-based Daros Collection is selling "Mao," Andy Warhol's seminal portrait of the Chinese leader at Christie's, pledging the estimated $12 million windfall for future acquisitions to enhance its public exhibition space.

$10 MILLION NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE

Sotheby's launches its $225 million sale of Impressionist and Modern art on Tuesday.

With more than half a dozen works expected to breech the $10 million mark, Sotheby's is staging its biggest Impressionist sale yet. Norman said sellers were motivated by "a tremendous amount of buoyant news in the art market."

He cited London's record sales in June, which came on the heels of Sotheby's getting $95 million for Picasso's "Dora Maar with Cat," the second-highest auction price in history.

Accordingly, spectacular works will be hitting the block, including Picasso's Blue Period "Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto," expected to fetch up to $60 million at Christie's.

Proceeds from its sale by The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation will benefit unidentified charities.

Three other Klimts being sold by the Bauer-Bloch family are expected to bring in another $50 million to $80 million.

Other top lots at Christie's include Gauguin's "Man with Hatchet," an early piece from the artist's Tahiti work estimated at $35 million to $45 million.

Sotheby's top lots include Cezanne's still life, "Ginger Jar with Fruit," estimated at $28 million to $35 million, and Monet's "The Beach at Trouville," an early Impressionist work that could hit $20 million or more.

Proceeds from Sotheby's sale of the collection of David Whitney, long-time companion to architect Philip Johnson, will fund the upkeep of the late architect's iconic Glass House in Connecticut. Both men died last year.

Sotheby's Norman expects the current boom, which has been sustained for several years, to continue.

"What really fuels these cycles," he said, is "the phenomenal creation of wealth in the world right now" -- particularly in Russia, China, India and other parts of Asia -- "coupled with a limited, never-growing supply."

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fred
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posted November 07, 2006 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Judge: Picasso painting can be sold

NEW YORK (AP) -- A judge ruled Tuesday that a Picasso painting can be sold at auction, despite a claim that its former owner was forced by the Nazis to sell it in the 1930s because his family descended from Jews.

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff issued the order four days after Julius H. Schoeps, an heir to Berlin banker Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan to stop the sale.

The judge had temporarily blocked the auction of "Portrait de Angel Fernandez de Soto." The painting, expected to fetch up to $60 million, was scheduled to be sold at Christie's on Wednesday.

The painting of de Soto, who shared a studio with Pablo Picasso, is being sold by the Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber Art Foundation, a London-based charity.

In the lawsuit, Schoeps sought to be declared the lawful owner. A lawyer for Schoeps said outside court Tuesday that he would refile the case in state court on Wednesday.

The oil-on-canvas painting, signed and dated 1903, was described in a Christie's catalog as capturing de Soto's haunting face: "The elegantly dressed sitter appears to scrutinize the viewer with an intense gaze, his inner agitation suggested by the forceful brushstrokes and the cloud of smoke hovering above him."

In a statement Tuesday, the foundation dismissed Schoeps' lawsuit as "utterly spurious without legal or factual substance." It said the painting was purchased at a Sotheby's auction in 1995 and exhibited on many occasions since. The foundation said the painting's provenance was never questioned during that 11-year period until now.

Christie's said the painting was being sold by the foundation for income to be spent on a variety of charitable purposes.

The lawsuit said Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was subjected to Nazi intimidation that forced him to flee his mansion and begin selling prized paintings in a depressed art market.

He placed five Picassos, including the de Soto painting, on consignment with Berlin art dealer Justin K. Thannhauser in 1934, the lawsuit said. According to the lawsuit, Thannhauser sold the painting in 1936 to M. Knoedler & Co. in New York.

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy died in 1935. The family included composer Felix Mendelssohn, whose father converted to Christianity.

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fred
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posted November 13, 2006 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wynn's damaged Picasso being repaired By KEN RITTER, Associated Press Writer


Casino mogul Steve Wynn lost $139 million, but got to keep one of his favorite paintings when he poked a hole in a Picasso last month.

Now it will cost Wynn $85,000 to repair the damage to the art work, if not his pride.

"Forget the money," he told The Associated Press during a recent telephone interview from the Chinese enclave of Macau. "You hate like hell to damage a painting like 'Le Reve.'"

Wynn was showing Picasso's 1932 work to several high-profile guests in his Las Vegas office when he accidentally poked a hole in the canvas with his elbow.

Wynn called it, "the world's clumsiest and goofiest thing to do," and said he was glad he was responsible and not one of his guests. He said no one but him said a word.

"The blood drained out of their faces," Wynn said, identifying his guests as screenwriter Nora Ephron and husband Nick Pileggi, broadcaster Barbara Walters, New York socialite Louise Grunwald, lawyer David Boies and his wife, Mary, and art dealer Serge Sorokko and his wife, Tatiana.

"They did not know what to say," Wynn recalled. "I just turned around and said, 'Oh, my God. How could I have done this?'

"At least I did it myself."

Wynn said the gaffe made him and his wife, Elaine Wynn, reconsider his deal to sell the painting to art collector Steven Cohen. Just 36 hours before, Wynn had agreed to sell "Le Reve," French for "The Dream" for $139 million.

Wynn's deal with Cohen would have been $4 million higher than the $135 million that cosmetics magnate Ronald Lauder paid in July for Gustav Klimt's 1907 portrait, "Adele Bloch-Bauer I."

The painting depicting Picasso's mistress, Marie-Therese Walter, which Wynn bought for $48.4 million in 1997, was left with what Wynn described as a thumb-sized flap in the canvas.

"Elaine said this is a sign from God that we ought to keep it," Wynn said, "and it is a favorite picture of mine." At one time he had considered naming his $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas resort "Le Reve."

Wynn said it could cost $85,000 to repair the damage. He wouldn't name the conservator in New York who was doing the work, but art experts say the painting can be repaired so that the tear won't be visible.

"Now the argument is over diminution of value," Wynn said.

"This is an interesting situation," Jerome Bengis, an art dealer and appraiser, said in an interview from his office in Coral Springs, Fla.

"A restored piece naturally is not worth full value," said Bengis, a member of the International Society of Appraisers. "Usually when you have a unique, very expensive piece like this at this level, you value it for a percentage loss. But I doubt anyone can put a percentage on it as to what the value is."

Wynn said he had filed a loss claim with the insurer of the art work, Lloyd's of London, but declined to provide specifics.

"For insurance purposes, we're keeping our mouths shut," Wynn said.

Lloyd's spokeswoman Jennifer Culley, reached in London, said she could not immediately confirm whether Lloyd's insured the painting.

Wynn said he has declined many requests to talk about the mishap until now.

"Talking about it too much would be bad taste," Wynn said.

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indiedan
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posted November 14, 2006 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fra Angelico found behind bedroom door
Lost Renaissance masterpieces expected to sell for $1.9 million at auction
Reuters
Updated: 6:28 a.m. PT Nov 14, 2006
LONDON - Two lost paintings by Italian Renaissance master Fra Angelico have turned up in a modest house in central England in a discovery hailed as one of the most exciting art finds for a generation.

The works — two panels each painted with the standing figure of a Dominican saint in tempera on a gold background — are expected to fetch more than $1.9 million at auction.

They were discovered behind a bedroom door in a terraced house in Oxford, central England, when art auctioneer Guy Schwinge was called in to carry out a valuation after the owner of the house, British librarian Jean Preston, died in July.

They were commissioned by Florentine ruler Cosimo de’ Medici and his brother Lorenzo, major Renaissance art patrons, in the late 1430s for the high altar at the Church and Convent of San Marco in Florence, where Fra Angelico, a Dominican monk, lived.

“We are dealing with two works of art painted by one of the ‘greats’, intended for his own church and commissioned by one of the greatest art patrons in history,” Schwinge said in a statement. “It simply does not get much better than that.”

The main panel from the altarpiece remains at San Marco, but the frame was broken up 200 years ago as a result of Napoleon’s invasion of Italy. The subsidiary panels from the altarpiece are now scattered in museums around the world.

Media reports said Preston found the paintings in a box of odds and ends when she was working as a manuscript curator at a museum in Huntington, California, in the 1960s. She did not identify them but thought they were “quite nice” and persuaded her father to buy them for a few hundred pounds.

Dillian Gordon, curator of early Italian paintings at the National Gallery in London, described the find as “quite breathtaking”.

“It never ceases to amaze me how these things come to light,” she said in a statement.

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fred
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posted November 14, 2006 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There sure are a lot of art stories lately...

Here's another:

Goya painting stolen while in transit Tue Nov 14, 6:41 AM ET


A painting by revolutionary Spanish master Francisco de Goya, insured for more than $1 million, was stolen last week on the way from Ohio to New York for an exhibition, two museums announced.

The 228-year-old painting "Children with a Cart" was stolen near Scranton, Pennsylvania, according to a joint statement issued on Monday by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and Ohio's Toledo Museum of Art which acquired the work in 1959.

The work was to be displayed at a Guggenheim exhibition, "Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth and History," scheduled to open on Friday.

The painting was being carried by a professional art transporter at the time of the theft, the museums said. They added the FBI was investigating the theft.

The museums said it would be virtually impossible to sell the painting on the open market, and the insurer had offered a reward of $50,000 for information leading to its recovery.

Goya, who lived from 1746 to 1828, is considered an early force of modernism in art. He was a painter of Spanish royalty and also depicted scenes of horror in a time of social and political upheaval.

"Children with a Cart" was painted in 1778 as a model for a tapestry. It depicts four colorfully dressed children and a wooden cart at the base of a dark tree, with a billowing cloud in the background.

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1
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posted November 16, 2006 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 1   Click Here to Email 1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Warhol's 'Mao' sells for $17.4 million Thu Nov 16, 11:08 AM ET


Andy Warhol's iconic image of Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong, considered one of his most sensational pieces of the 1970s, sold for $17.4 million, a world auction record for the artist, Christie's auction house said.

The portrait was offered by the Swiss-based Daros Collection, owner of one of the greatest private holdings of Warhol paintings, and was sold Wednesday to Joseph Lau of Hong Kong. It brought in about $5 million more than expected, Christie's said.

The silk-screen portrait, measuring 81 inches by 61 inches and showing Mao in a dark blue jacket against a light blue background, was part of the auction house's evening sale of postwar and contemporary art.

Warhol's 1962 work, "Orange Marilyn," went for $16.2 million, about $1 million over estimate. "Sixteen Jackies," from 1964, sold for $15.6 million, which was expected.

The Daros Collection, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is known to focus on a small group of artists including Cy Twombly, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin and Warhol. Its Warhol collection includes "210 Coke Bottles," "Blue Liz as Cleopatra" and "AtomicBomb."

Christie's said the board of the Daros Collection was selling the "Mao" painting "to raise proceeds for future acquisition of prime works from the 1960s."

"Herr Heyde," by German artist Gerhard Richter, sold for $2.8 million.

The largest sale of the evening was an abstract 1977 painting by Willem de Kooning, called "Untitled XXV." It sold for $27 million, a world auction record for postwar art, Christie's said. The buyer's name was not released.

The previous postwar record-holder was David Smith's "Cubi XXVIII," which sold for $23.8 million at Sotheby's in 2005. The previous Warhol record-holder was another "Orange Marilyn," which was auctioned for $17.3 million by Sotheby's in 1998.

Wednesday's auction prices include commissions of 20 percent of the first $200,000 and 12 percent thereafter.

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indiedan
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posted January 02, 2007 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
McCartney Reclaims Art Collection


Sir Paul McCartney has reclaimed his art collection from the house of estranged wife Heather Mills. $19.5 million worth of pictures, including paintings by Pablo Picasso and Pierre-Auguste Renoir were removed from a lodge house at the former Beatle's Sussex, England estate amid "security fears" for the works. Mills discovered the paintings were missing when she returned to the lodge as part of her Christmas and New Year celebrations, but was shocked when access codes had been changed. According to British newspaper The Sun, McCartney informed the former model of the removal by text message Thursday. Speaking to The Sun, a friend of Mills' said, "Heather is staggered. Several pictures including Renoirs and Picassos which have been hanging on the walls for months have been taken. The police spoke to Sir Paul's security guards, who confirmed he had removed them."

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posted January 11, 2007 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 1   Click Here to Email 1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mogul files lawsuit over a Picasso By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jan 11, 1:35 PM ET


Casino mogul Steve Wynn sued Lloyd's of London Thursday, saying the insurance company failed to act properly on his demands to pay $54 million in lost value for a Picasso that was damaged when Wynn accidentally poked a hole in the canvas with his elbow.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan sought an order to force Lloyd's to expedite Wynn's claims for reimbursement and restoration costs for Picasso's 1932 work, "Le Reve," by providing him with an appraisal report or initial damages assessment.

Wynn's representatives told Lloyd's in November that the painting was worth $139 million the day before Wynn damaged it in his Las Vegas office on Sept. 30, but was believed to be worth no more than $85 million afterward.

In 1997, Wynn paid $48.4 million for the painting depicting Picasso's mistress, Marie-Therese Walter.

Wynn has described the damage to the canvas as a thumb-sized flap and said it was "the world's clumsiest and goofiest thing to do."

He damaged the canvas as he showed it to guests, including screenwriter Nora Ephron and husband Nick Pileggi, broadcaster Barbara Walters, New York socialite Louise Grunwald, lawyer David Boies and his wife, Mary, and art dealer Serge Sorokko and his wife, Tatiana.

"The blood drained out of their faces," Wynn said. "I just turned around and said, 'Oh, my God. How could I have done this?'"

A message left with a spokesman for Lloyd's was not immediately returned.

In a letter included as an exhibit with the lawsuit, a Lloyd's representative wrote that he understood that Wynn's representatives wanted the insurers to estimate the level of depreciation at the outset, but that it was customary practice for the insured to make a claim first and for insurers to agree or disagree.

Lloyd's has already agreed to pay $90,000 to restore the painting, a consultant fee of $21,000 related to the restoration and increased security that was required during the process.

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fred
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posted January 25, 2007 04:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rare Rembrandt sells for $25.8 million Thu Jan 25, 1:16 PM ET


A rare late work by Rembrandt depicting the Apostle James in prayer was sold Thursday for $25.8 million, the auction house said.

"Saint James the Greater," painted by the artist in 1661, was described by the vice chairman of Sotheby's Old Master paintings, George Wachter, as one of the most important Rembrandt works ever handled by Sotheby's.

"Over the past 20 years, the vast majority of pictures by the artist that have appeared on the market have dated to the 1630s and '40s," Wachter said. "It is exceedingly rare to have one that dates to the 1660s. Works of this period, the last decade of Rembrandt's life and a time of personal turmoil, are extremely intense, soulful and introspective."

The painting, which had a presale estimate of $18 million to $25 million, was purchased by an anonymous telephone bidder, Sotheby's said. The price includes the buyer's premium.

The work, offered as part of an old masters sale, is from a group of single figure, half-length "portraits" of religious figures Rembrandt painted in the late 1650s and early 1660s. The dimly lit portrait shows the patron saint of pilgrims with his hands clasped in prayer. His face is weathered and sad, and a wooden staff rests against a wall beside him.

"The hands of the apostle are particularly moving," Wachter said in a statement. "The gradations of color, browns and grays, are absolutely breathtaking."

"Saint James the Greater" recently was shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Staatliche Museum in Berlin.

The painting, measuring 36 inches by 20 inches, had been in the collection of Stephen Carlton Clark, the grandson of the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company and brother of Sterling Clark, founder of The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass.

It recently was donated to a foundation that consigned it for sale, Sotheby's said.

___

On the Net:
http://www.sothebys.com

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1
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posted January 30, 2007 07:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 1   Click Here to Email 1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tintoretto show opens at Prado Museum By HAROLD HECKLE, Associated Press Writer
Mon Jan 29, 2:28 PM ET


The Prado Museum is unveiling the largest exhibition of 16th-century Italian painter Tintoretto in 70 years. It is one of the most significant shows of his work held outside his native Venice.

Jacopo Tintoretto has only had one other solo show — at the Ca' Pesaro gallery in Venice, in 1937.

"Most people would say that Venice is the only place to see Tintoretto," Gabriele Finaldi, the Prado's deputy director for conservation and research, said.

But the Prado show, which opens on Tuesday, affords his works perspectives that would be impossible in their original setting, he said.

"Most of his masterpieces are of an unusually large size and remain still in the buildings for which they were painted," said exhibit curator Miguel Falomir.

The point is powerfully made in a darkened chamber that displays the painter's brushstroke techniques using full-size X-ray images and allows a comparison of "Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet" with and without human figures.

"Take a few steps into the main hall and suddenly you are confronted with that painting next to the 'The Last Supper' from Venice's Curia Patriarcale church, just as they would have been hung originally before kings started buying works and splitting them up," Finaldi said.

The exhibit highlights Tintoretto's bawdy sense of humor, especially in "Venus and Mars Surprised by Vulcan" where you can see Mars hiding under a table as cuckolded Vulcan bursts into his wife's bedroom.

The recently restored "Susanna and the Elders," belonging to Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum highlights Tintoretto's inventive use of perspective and delicate rendering of skin tones.

"You can also see the point from which he drew his perspective lines to give the painting its depth and even see smoke rising from an incense burner which was once thought to be a scent bottle," said Robert Wald, who was responsible for restoring the masterpiece.

Wald said some elements had forever been changed by the passage of time.

"We know from research that the trees and shrubs would have been a much brighter green, but in restoring the work we chose to retain its patina," he said.

It took time to coax apprehensive caretakers into lending Tintoretto's paintings. To ease the anxiety of some owners, the Prado promised to help pay for maintenance at the paintings' original sites.

The pastor of San Marcuola church, where Tintorettos cover two walls, said he decided to loan the "Last Supper" because the Prado pitched in financially toward the church's upkeep.

"Damp has affected some of these paintings in the past. We don't want that to happen again," Finaldi said.

Tintoretto is among the world's most admired and studied painters. But Falomir said he learned a few new things about the painting in curating the exhibit.

"We found out his real name was Jacopo Comin — alias Robusti, alias Tintoretto," he said.

___

On the Net:
http://www.museoprado.es

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posted June 22, 2007 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 1   Click Here to Email 1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hirst most expensive living artist in record week

By Jeremy LovellFri Jun 22, 10:33 AM ET

Britain's Damien Hirst has been crowned the world's most expensive living artist at auction, lifting a title held for years by America's Jasper Johns.

It was the high point of a frenetic week of London art auctions that saw records tumbling like ninepins and which is likely to get close to $1 billion when it ends later on Friday.

Hirst took the title on Thursday when Sotheby's sold his "Lullaby Spring" pill cabinet for 9.6 million pounds ($19.1 million).

Johns has held the title off and on since the mid-1980s, swapping in November 189 with Willem de Kooning who held it until his death in 1997.

The Hirst sale was just 24 hours after Lucian Freud's portrait of "Bruce Bernard" sold at Christie's for 7.9 million pounds briefly making him the most expensive living European artist.

"This was the highest totaling week of sales London has ever seen -- confirming beyond all doubt London's rapid ascent as a central hub in the art market," said Robin Woodhead, chief executive of Sotheby's International.

"Bidding across the sales was truly global. New buyers locked horns with long-time collectors in a bid to secure top masterpieces," he added.

Christie's, which kicked off the week on Monday with the highest auction total ever in Europe at 121 million pounds, said its auctions set records for 23 artists including Joan Miro and Freud -- whose portrait price remains a personal record.

Arch rival Sotheby's, which claimed the most expensive work during the week when Francis Bacon's "Self Portrait, 1978" sold for 21.6 million pounds, also set a series of records for artists including Henri Matisse, Tracey Emin and Frank Auerbach.

Matisse's "Danseuse dans le fauteuil, sol en damier" sold for 11 million pounds -- towards the higher end of its presale estimate of 8-12 million pounds -- raising the record price by just under one million pounds.

Both auction houses reported strong interest from Asia, Russia, Britain and the United States and described the London art market as "very healthy."

"This is a very different place from the boom days of the late 1980s. There is great strength and depth in this marketplace and it promises to be another record year for the London art market," said Jussi Pylkkanen, president of Christie's Europe.

It was not just the contemporary and modern works that attracted keen bidding. The week began with both auction houses offering top quality works by Claude Monet.

On Monday Christie's grabbed the number two Monet spot when the Impressionist Grand Master's "Waterloo Bridge, temps couvert" dating from 1904 sold for 17.9 million pounds.

But a day later Sotheby's nudged it down to number three when Monet's "Nympheas" picture of waterlilies in his garden at Giverny, from the same year, sold for 18.5 million pounds.

The auction record for the artist is 19.8 million pounds paid for "Bassin aux nympheas et sentier au bord de l'eau" in 1998.

Christie's said its sales of Impressionist, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary art during the week totaled 237 million pounds.

As of Friday morning and with sales still to go estimated to make around 20 million pounds more, Sotheby's said its auction total so far for Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary works during the week totaled 178 million pounds.

Auction house Phillips de Pury's Contemporary art sale, also on Friday, is expected to bring in around 20 million pounds.

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