Rubens was British?

July 6 2011

So says The Independent, when reporting last night's sale at Christie's of the spectacular Stubbs. Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath made £22m (including premium). Rob Hastings writes:

Even by the standards of the formidable horse that it celebrates, it would have had to go some way to surpass the record for the most expensive painting by a British artist – the near £50m accrued in 2002 for The Massacre of the Innocents by another of the Old Masters, Sir Peter Paul Rubens.

Never mind...

My little prediction below wasn't too far out - I said £18m, and it sold at the lower estimate of £20m. Bloomberg reports that it sold for a single bid in the room to Piers Davies Fine Art (Piers is newly established in New York and used to work for Christie's). They also say that the picture was guaranteed. An earlier edition of the Bloomberg story said that the guarantor was Irish horse-owner John Magner, but this fact has now been deleted. 

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