Orazio Gentileschi's Danae sets record at Sotheby's Old Masters sale

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2016-01-29 15:22:25

Danae, a masterpiece by the Italian baroque painter Orazio Gentileschi, has sold for a new world record price at Sotheby's.

The work was the star lot of the company's Master Paintings Evening Sale, held as part of the annual Masters Week in New York.

Originally commissioned in 1621 by the nobleman Giovanni Antonio Sauli for his palazzo in Genoa, the painting had passed down through his family for more than 350 years.

Described as "one of the finest masterpieces of the Italian seventeenth century and the most important Baroque painting to come to the market in living memory", it sold for $30.49 million to the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Also amongst the top lots were Jacob Jordaens' 1630 work Saint Martin Healing the Possessed Man which sold for $4.73 million; a view of the Town Hall in Haarlem by the Dutch Golden Age painter Pieter Jansz Saenredam, which sold for $3.01 million; Saint Norbert Overcoming Tanchelm by Sir Peter Paul Rubens which brought $1.81 million; and a view of London over the Thames river from Lambeth by Antonio Joli, painted during the mid-18th century, which achieved $1.69 million.

Despite the record sale, the auction fell short of its low estimate with a total result of $53.5 million, a drop of around 6% on the corresponding sale in 2015.

Sotheby's had previously kicked off Masters Week on Wednesday with a dedicated auction featuring works from the A. Alfred Taubman collection, which realized $24.1 million.

Topping the sale was The Crowning with Thorns by Valentin de Boulogne, painted in Rome in 1615, which set a new auction record for the artist when it sold for $5.2 million.
Further notable lots from the collection included Profile Portrait of Valerio Belli by Raffaello Sanzio, dated 1517, which sold for $3.3 million, and Thomas Gainsborough's The Blue Page, a work modelled on his iconic masterpiece The Blue Boy, which achieved $3.3 million.

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