Earliest-known Caravaggio painting comes to Christie's

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2015-06-26 11:26:11

Christie's have announced details of the forthcoming Old Masters Week in New York.

The auction house will host five auctions, offering a range of fresh-to-the-market lots, new discoveries and attributions, and works with exceptional provenance from some of the world's finest private collections.

“We are proud to be bringing to market a remarkable group of Old Master paintings spanning four centuries of artistic achievement," said Nicholas H.J. Hall, Co-Chairman, Old Master & 19th Century Art.

"For the third successive year we will be presenting the popular Renaissance sale, which will include manuscripts, sculpture as well as paintings. To present this sale alongside the extraordinary Abbott-Guggenheim collection of clocks and sculptures will be a remarkable event."

Amongst the leading highlights will be Caravaggio's 'Boy peeling a fruit', the earliest known work by the artist painted shortly after his arrival in Rome in 1591.

The painting displays all the elements which made Caravaggio such an important figure, "a visionary, whose interpretations of deceptively simple subjects continue to shape the course of art history". With an illustrious provenance, and having been featured in numerous major exhibitions, the painting comes to auction for the first time since 1976 with an estimate of $3-$5 million.

Further notable lots will include 'A Merry Company by Theodoor Rombouts' estimated at $2-3 million; Agnolo Bronzino’s 'Portrait of a Young Man with a Book', described as "one of the most important Renaissance portraits remaining in private hands", estimated at $8-12 million; and two paintings by Canaletto depicting views of Venice, estimated at $3-5 million for the pair.

Old Masters Week begins on January 27 with The Abbott-Guggenheim Collection: A New York Kunstkammer, featuring a collection of 120 lots of Renaissance and Baroque sculptures and clocks. January 28 sees Old Master Paintings: Part I followed by the Renaissance sale, with Old Master Paintings: Part II and Old Master and British Drawings rounding off the sales on January 29.

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