Sotheby's Modern and Renaissance Results

March 26 2021

Image of Sotheby's Modern and Renaissance Results

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Last night's Modern and Renaissance sale at Sotheby's London brought in a total of £96,860,164 with 87.24% of lots sold, minus three lots that seem to have been withdrawn before the sale.

The two old masters in the sale just about managed to hit their low estimates. Piero del Pollaiuolo's Portrait of a Youth made £3,900,000 (hammer price), £4,564,000 (with fees), which was right at the bottom end of its £4,000,000 low estimate. The newly upgraded Giulio Romano portrait also just managed to hit its low estimate at £378,000 (with fees).

The most impressive results came from twentieth century works. Arshile Gorky's Garden in Sochi made £8,585,700 over its £2.2m - £2.8m estimate, Edvard Munch's Summer Day or Embrace on the Beach (The Linde Frieze) made £16,284,000 over its £9m - £12m estimate, Frank Dobson's Female Torso made £2,041,750 over its £250k - £350k estimate, and František Kupka's Le Jaillissement II (Tryskání II) made £7,551,600 over its £1.5m - £2.5m estimate.

On the same day at Sotheby's Paris, Van Gogh's Montmarte scene brought in €13,091,250, smashing through its €5m - €8m estimate.


Overall, it seems as if the new cross-category sales are going rather well. Although, from an Old Masters point of view, it was noticeable that the sale featured far fewer pictures compared to last July's Rembrandt to Richter auction. As the name suggested, it was very much a Modern and Contemporary Sale with two nice Renaissance portraits thrown in. With no works represented from the seventeenth, eighteenth or nineteenth century, it's hard to claim that this was a truly cross category offering. However, as we all know, the comparable scarcity of high value old master paintings does also play its part in dictating what sort of sales auction houses can put together.

We shall look forward to seeing what the July sales bring!

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.