New Delhi, May 3 (IANSlife) Christie’s presents Old Masters, New Perspectives: Masterworks from the Alana Collection, a selection from one of the most important collections of Italian Old Master paintings, sculptures, and antiquities ever offered at auction in New York. The selection will make its London debut alongside Christie’s 20/21 exhibition, which will present a new perspective on Old Masters by putting them in conversation with 20th and 21st century artworks, demonstrating an exceptional breadth of masterpieces throughout history.
The Alana Collection’s Gothic, Italian Renaissance, and Baroque paintings, assembled with great expertise and passion over decades, comprehensively tell the story of Italian art history, and have gained international renown following the acclaimed 2019-2020 exhibition at the Musee Jacquemart-Andre, Paris. The selection of works offered in this sale, led by masterpieces by Fra Angelico, Orazio Gentileschi, El Greco, and many other illustrious artists, is distinguished not only by their exceptional artistic quality, but also by the way they tell an important story, both about the culture that produced them and our own.
The auction includes over 50 outstanding works that will be sold in a single-owner live auction on June 9, 2022, at Rockefeller Plaza, following a global tour that includes Impressionist, Modern, and Post-War highlights to London, Hong Kong, New York, and Los Angeles. The sale proceeds will go to a charitable organisation that promotes the arts and education. The sale of these works is expected to bring in between $30 and $50 million.
The zeal, connoisseurship, and sophistication that drove the formation of the Alana Collection’s Old Master Paintings, Sculptures, and Antiquities recall the spirit of such notable collectors as Norton Simon, John G. Johnson, Robert Lehman, Barbara Piasecka Johnson, and Jayne Wrightsman in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A powerful yet touching depiction of The Madonna and Child by Orazio Gentileschi (estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000) stands out from the collection. This work on panel is an exquisite example of Gentileschi’s refined style, painted with lapus lazuili and other expensive materials, indicating that it was created for one of the artist’s most important patrons.
Although the mother and child were clearly painted from posed models, following Caravaggio’s innovative practises, Gentileschi imbued the painting with his own poetic idiom, grounded in the more formal, Baroque pictorial conventions of his day. Fra Angelico’s Saint Dominic and the Stigmatization of Saint Francis (estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000) is another highlight in the collection. This small panel by the early Florentine Renaissance artist was recently featured in an exhibition dedicated to the artist held at the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
Its second panel, originally part of a diptych, is the Madonna and Child with four angels in the Detroit Art Institute. El Greco’s Portrait of a Young Man, said to be Saint Luis Gonzaga (estimate $3,000,000-5,000,000), is also noteworthy. It is one of the few portraits by the artist still in private hands. The sitter has been identified as Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591), who worked as a page for the Infante Diego, who would have been around 14 at the time this was painted in 1582. In Bartolomeo Manfredi’s A drinking and musical party, a group of revellers gathered around a table provides an intriguing glimpse into daily life in early-seventeenth-century Rome. Painted by arguably the most important and innovative of Caravaggio’s early followers, this work was last seen in 2017 in the Beyond Caravaggio exhibition at the National Gallery, London.
François de Poortere, Christie’s Head of Old Master Paintings, comments, “We are honored to be entrusted with treasures from the Alana collection for auction this spring. These paintings, sculptures and works of art tell the history of Italian art from Antiquity, through the Renaissance to the Baroque era and counts among the greatest assembled in the last century. Passion and connoisseurship drove the creation of this extraordinary collection which has and will stand the test of history.”
Bonnie Brennan, Christie’s President of Americas, comments, “It is an honor to partner with the Fine Art Group to present this once in a generation collection with some of the finest works of their kind to ever come on the public market. The profound quality and breadth of these works stand as a testament of the supreme care and vision that guided the formation of the Alana Collection. We are especially excited to debut these works alongside 20th and 21st century masterpieces, creating a dialogue across the entirety of history.”