2020欧洲杯客户端下载

12 portraits that made art-market history — at Christie’s

12 portraits that made art-market history — at Christie’s

2020欧洲杯客户端下载A good portrait offers so much more than the depiction of another person — it can offer a glimpse into their soul. Here, we look back at some of the finest ever sold at Christie’s

  • 1
  • The Chandos Portrait (1600-10) by unknown artist Sold for £33,400, 15 Aug-7 Oct 1848

2020欧洲杯客户端下载This picture has two major claims to fame. One: it’s thought to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare painted from life. Two: it was the first work to enter the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London, on its founding in 1856.

Unknown artist, The Chandos Portrait, possibly William Shakespeare, circa 1600-10, attributed to John Taylor (d. 1651). Oil on canvas. 22 x 17 in (55 x 44 cm). Sold by Christie’s for £33,400 between 15 Aug and 7 Oct 1848 at Stowe House in Buckinghamshire. National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo Bridgeman Images

Unknown artist, The Chandos Portrait, possibly William Shakespeare, circa 2020欧洲杯客户端下载1600-10, attributed to John Taylor (d. 1651). Oil on canvas. 22 x 17 in (55 x 44 cm). Sold by Christie’s for £33,400 between 15 Aug and 7 Oct 1848 at Stowe House in Buckinghamshire. National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo: Bridgeman Images

2020欧洲杯客户端下载The artist and date of execution are unknown. Likewise the first owner, although it is possible it could have been Sir William Davenant, a poet and theatre manager who claimed to be Shakespeare’s son.

The ‘Chandos’ of the title refers to a later owner, James Brydges, 3rd Duke of Chandos. In the mid-19th  century, one of his cash-strapped descendants put all the paintings in his home, Stowe House in Buckinghamshire, up for sale — the buyer of the Shakespeare portrait later donated it to the NPG.

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  • 2
  • Juan de Pareja (1650) by Diego Velázquez Sold for £2,310,000 in 1970

2020欧洲杯客户端下载During a two-year stay in Rome between 1649 and 1651, produced some of the most accomplished portraits of his career, including his .

He also painted the assistant accompanying him on his travels, Juan de Pareja, in a portrait that combined sympathy, immediacy and a likeness to its subject that left contemporary viewers astounded.

Diego Velázquez (1599-1660), Juan de Pareja, 1650. Oil on canvas. 32 x 27½ in (81.5 x 70 cm). Sold for £2,310,000 on 27 November 1970 at Christie’s in London. Purchase, Fletcher and Rogers Funds, and Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), by exchange, supplemented by gifts from friends of the Museum, 1971. Inv. 1971.86. Photo © The Metropolitan

Diego Velázquez (1599-1660), Juan de Pareja, 1650. Oil on canvas. 32 x 27½ in (81.5 x 70 cm). Sold for £2,310,000 on 27 November 1970 at Christie’s in London. Purchase, Fletcher and Rogers Funds, and Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), by exchange, supplemented by gifts from friends of the Museum, 1971. Inv. 1971.86. Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource / Scala, Florence

2020欧洲杯客户端下载De Pareja was Velázquez’s slave — and received his liberation in the mid-1650s, after the pair had returned from Rome. He’d go on to work, for a number of years, as an independent painter in Madrid.

2020欧洲杯客户端下载As for the portrait, it passed through many hands before being sold by the 8th Earl of Radnor in 1970, when it became the first ever painting to fetch more than £1 million at auction. Today it forms part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection in New York.

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  • Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath, with a Trainer, a Stable Lad, and a Jockey (1765) by George Stubbs Sold for £22,441,250 in 2011

The grey colt, Gimcrack, was one of the top thoroughbred racehorses of the 18th century, renowned for his small size and great speed. In 1765 he won 10 consecutive races, and it was at one of those — in Newmarket — that painted this portrait for Gimcrack’s then owner, Frederick St John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke.

George Stubbs (1724-1806), Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath with a Trainer, a Jockey and a Stable Lad, 1765. Oil on canvas. 40½ x 76½ in (102 x 194 cm). Sold for £22,441,250 on 5 July 2011 at Christie’s in London

George Stubbs (1724-1806), Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath with a Trainer, a Jockey and a Stable Lad, 1765. Oil on canvas. 40½ x 76½ in (102 x 194 cm). Sold for £22,441,250 on 5 July 2011 at Christie’s in London

Stubbs is regarded as one of the greatest horse painters of all time, thanks to his mix of compassion and anatomical accuracy. Here, he depicts Gimcrack (and jockey) twice in the same picture: leading the race in the background, and standing next to the rubbing-down house in the foreground.

The painting has passed through Christie’s salerooms four times, first in 1780 and most recently in 2011.

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  • George Washington at Princeton (1779) by Charles Willson Peale Sold for $21,296,000 in 2006

2020欧洲杯客户端下载After failing to make a go of it as a saddle-maker or clock repairer, Charles Willson Peale proved to be markedly better at his third-choice profession: art. By the end of his career, he’d painted pretty much every key player in the American Revolution, from Thomas Jefferson to Alexander Hamilton.

He also produced 60 portraits of George Washington, who sat for him seven times. In this work, his subject leans confidently against a cannon, after victory in the all-important Battle of Princeton.

Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), George Washington at Princeton, 1779. Oil on canvas. 96½ x 61½ in (244 x 156 cm). Sold for $21,296,000 on 21 January 2006 at Christie’s in New York. Private collection

Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), George Washington at Princeton, 17792020欧洲杯客户端下载. Oil on canvas. 96½ x 61½ in (244 x 156 cm). Sold for $21,296,000 on 21 January 2006 at Christie’s in New York. Private collection

The painting was meant to be sent as a diplomatic gift to France, but the ship it was sailing on was forced by bad weather to dock in Spain instead. The work ended up with an order of Capuchin friars in the northern Spanish province of Navarre.

In 2006, back on US soil, it sold for more than $21 million at Christie’s in New York2020欧洲杯客户端下载, setting an auction record for an American portrait.

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  • Portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (1787) by Thomas Gainsborough Sold for 10,100 guineas in 1876

Huge crowds descended on Christie’s in May 1876, with The Times reporting ‘all the world had come to see the beautiful duchess by , and all… were conquered by her fascinating beauty’. The cause of all the excitement was the artist’s masterly, 18th-century portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire.

2020欧洲杯客户端下载She suggestively grasps a pink rosebud between her index finger and thumb, and gives a flirtatious glance befitting a lady renowned for her liberal attitude to sexuality.

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), Portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, circa 1785-87. Oil on canvas. 127 x 101.5 cm. Sold for 10,100 guineas on 6 May 1876 at Christie’s in London. The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees  Bridgeman Images
Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), Portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, circa 1785-87. Oil on canvas. 127 x 101.5 cm. Sold for 10,100 guineas on 6 May 1876 at Christie’s in London. The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees / Bridgeman Images

The sale itself matched the hype, The Times2020欧洲杯客户端下载  describing it as an ‘extraordinary contest’ in which bidding was among ‘the most exciting ever witnessed’ — until the hammer finally went down and ‘the audience, densely packed on raised seats… and on the floor, stamped, clapped and bravoed’.

2020欧洲杯客户端下载The picture sold for 10,100 guineas, then the highest price ever paid for an artwork at auction.

  • 6
  • Portrait of a Commander, Three-quarter-length, Being Dressed for Battle (circa 1612-1614) by Peter Paul Rubens Sold for £9,001,250 in 2010

Portrait of a Commander, Three-quarter-length, Being Dressed for Battle  was completed at as an artist and yet the painting was unattributed until 1947. It was thought to be by the School of Rubens, and then the School of . Why it languished for so long in the backwaters of art history is something of a mystery, although it may have something to do with the ambivalence with which Rubens’ work was viewed in Britain in the 19th century.

When the aristocratic Spencer family bought the painting in 1802, Rubens was considered in Europe to be the prince of painters, but in Britain his sensuous colour and theatrical Baroque style were viewed with puritanical suspicion. 

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Portrait of a Commander, Three-quarter-length, Being Dressed for Battle, circa 1612-14. Oil on panel, 48½ x 38½ (123 x 98 cm). Private collection

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Portrait of a Commander, Three-quarter-length, Being Dressed for Battle, circa 1612-14. Oil on panel, 48½ x 38½ (123 x 98 cm). Private collection

Portrait of a Commander  depicts a heroic but battle-weary military man preparing for combat. His unyielding gaze suggests a hard-won understanding of the ravages of war, yet his hand rests tenderly on his page in a quietly affectionate manner.

For 200 years, the painting hung by a doorway at Althorp, the Spencer family’s seat in Northamptonshire. It sold to the German dealer Konrad Bernheimer for more than £9 million in 20102020欧洲杯客户端下载, and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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  • May Prinsep (‘Head of St John’) (1866) by Julia Margaret Cameron Sold for £48,000 in 2006

The Victorian photographer was one of the great portraitists in the history of the medium. In this rich albumen print, mounted on card, she captured her niece, May Prinsep, in the guise of St John.

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), May Prinsep (‘Head of St John’), 1866. Albumen print. 15 x 12 in (38 x 30.5 cm). Sold for £48,000 on 14 November 2006 at Christie’s in London. Private collection

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), May Prinsep (‘Head of St John’)2020欧洲杯客户端下载, 1866. Albumen print. 15 x 12 in (38 x 30.5 cm). Sold for £48,000 on 14 November 2006 at Christie’s in London. Private collection

At a time when photography was still in its infancy — and portraits were concerned, above all, with detailed recording of a subject’s features — Cameron rejected convention for innovation. Here, she tightly cropped Prinsep’s head and harnessed the magic of light and photochemistry to achieve a soft focus that lends the picture a mystical quality.

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  • Portrait of Dr. Gachet (1890) by Vincent van Gogh Sold for $82,500,000 in 1990

Paul Gachet was the physician who cared for in the final few months of his life. The artist painted this portrait of his doctor shortly before committing suicide in 1890, describing it as ‘weary with the heartbroken expression of our time’.

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), Portrait of Dr Gachet, 1890. Oil on canvas. 26 x 22½ in (66 x 57 cm). Sold for $82,500 on 15 May 1990 at Christie’s in New York. Private Collection. Photo Bridgeman Images

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), Portrait of Dr Gachet, 1890. Oil on canvas. 26 x 22½ in (66 x 57 cm). Sold for $82,500 on 15 May 1990 at Christie’s in New York. Private Collection. Photo: Bridgeman Images

The portrait had been purchased by a number of well-known figures over the years, including the Parisian art dealer, Ambroise Vollard, and the high-ranking Nazi, Hermann Göring.

It was sold again in 1990, at the culmination of a decade-long splurge by Japanese buyers on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. The paper manufacturer Ryoei Saito acquired Portrait of Dr. Gachet  at Christie’s for $82.5 million, at the time the highest price ever paid for an artwork at auction.

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  • Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II (1912) by Gustav Klimt Sold for $87,936,000 in 2006

The wife of a Jewish sugar merchant, Adele Bloch-Bauer was a leading, high-society hostess in turn-of-the-century Vienna — a status reflected by this portrait of her by . Wearing an opulent dress and wide-brimmed hat, her slender figure is captured within a richly decorated, domestic interior.

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer 2, 1912. Oil on canvas. 75 x 47½ in (190 x 120 cm). Sold for $87,936,000 on 8 November 2006 at Christie’s in New York

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer 2, 1912. Oil on canvas. 75 x 47½ in (190 x 120 cm). Sold for $87,936,000 on 8 November 2006 at Christie’s in New York

This painting — along with another by Klimt of the same subject, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I2020欧洲杯客户端下载 — was confiscated by the Nazis in 1938. Sixty years later, the Austrian government passed a restitution law allowing property stolen by the Nazis to be returned to its old owners.

In 2006, after a lengthy legal battle, Adele’s niece, Maria Altmann, won the right to call both portraits her own. She subsequently sold Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II at Christie’s.

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  • 10
  • Self-Portrait with Loose Hair (1947) by Frida Kahlo Sold for $1,650,000 in 1991

In 1947, turned 40. She had anything but a happy birthday, however. That year she underwent a series of gruelling operations on her spine, which had been broken in several places during a bus crash two decades earlier. She painted Self-Portrait with Loose Hair2020欧洲杯客户端下载  in a period of convalescence.

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), Self-Portrait with Loose Hair, 1947. Oil on masonite. 24 x 18 in (61 x 45 cm). Sold for $1,650,000 on 15 May 1991 at Christie’s in New York. Artwork © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F.  DACS 2020

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), Self-Portrait with Loose Hair, 1947. Oil on masonite. 24 x 18 in (61 x 45 cm). Sold for $1,650,000 on 15 May 1991 at Christie’s in New York. Artwork: © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / DACS 2020

Kahlo rejected traditional perceptions of beauty, commonly depicting herself with a thick mono-brow and downy moustache. This work is even more candid than usual: her long hair, often seen braided or tied back, is let loose to cascade over her left shoulder, suggesting vulnerability.

Kahlo died in 1954, aged 47. In 1991, Self-Portrait with Loose Hair  2020欧洲杯客户端下载became the first Latin American artwork to sell for more than $1 million at auction.

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  • Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969) by Francis Bacon Sold for $142,405,000 in 2013

The friendship between and was as fascinating and complex as that between any artists in the 20th century. For many years, they were inseparable, and this rare triptych of Freud by Bacon was painted in 1969, shortly before their relationship cooled for good.

Francis Bacon, Three Studies of Lucian Freud, 1969. Oil on canvas, in 3 parts. Each 78 x 58 in (198 x 147.5 cm). Sold for $142, 405,000 on 12 November 2013 at Christie’s in New York. Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2020

Francis Bacon, Three Studies of Lucian Freud, 1969. Oil on canvas, in 3 parts. Each: 78 x 58 in (198 x 147.5 cm). Sold for $142, 405,000 on 12 November 2013 at Christie’s in New York. Artwork: © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2020

It features three, full-length portraits of Freud side by side, each one depicting him with violently contorted facial features and sitting on a chair within a cage-like structure. Against Bacon’s wishes, the work’s three panels were separated in the mid-1970s — only to be reassembled in the late-1980s.

2020欧洲杯客户端下载When the triptych appeared at auction in 2013, heated competition between 10 bidders ensued, before it eventually sold for $142,405,000, then the highest price ever paid for an artwork at auction.

  • 12
  • The Brigadier (2003-04) by Lucian Freud Sold for $34,885,000 in 2015

Lucian Freud’s portraits were never intended to flatter and honour. Cold scrutiny was his watchword. In almost all cases, his subjects’ gazes are averted: these figures are looked at, but never look back.

Lucian Freud, The Brigadier, 2003-4. Oil on canvas. 88⅛ x 54½ in (223.8 x 138.4 cm). Sold for $34,885,000 on 10 November 2015 at Christie’s in New York. Artwork © The Lucian Freud Archive  Bridgeman Images

Lucian Freud, The Brigadier, 2003-4. Oil on canvas. 88⅛ x 54½ in (223.8 x 138.4 cm). Sold for $34,885,000 on 10 November 2015 at Christie’s in New York. Artwork: © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images

One of the finest examples — a depiction of the retired, sexagenarian brigadier, Andrew Parker Bowles, in full ceremonial uniform — was painted when Freud was well into his eighties. The subject’s jacket is strikingly unbuttoned, his face puffy, and his eyes downcast with drooping lids.

He appears lost in his own thoughts, as if insecure about the onset of old age — a period of life in which Freud himself was proving to be as brilliant as ever.