Sotheby’s London to Offer Works from J. M. W. Turner and Peter Paul Rubens

Sotheby’s upcoming Old Masters Evening sale in the summer will constitute one of the richest variety of works on offer. The paintings for sale are from some of the world’s greatest collections and artists, including masterpieces by J. M. W. Turner and Sir Peter Paul Rubens. Let’s browse through some of the highlights from the sale.

J. M. W. Turner's Walton Bridges

Walton Bridges by Joseph Mallord William Turner (J. M. W. Turner, 1775 - 1851) has the highest estimate of the sale, pricing at £3m - 5m. The 92.7 x 123.8 cm painting was created by Turner between 1805 and 1808, shortly after he had moved out of London to a house on the banks of the river near Isleworth. This is the first of three full-scale pictures of views of the River Thames by Turner. The artist produced another two oil sketches of the scene.

J.M.W. Turner, R.A., The Thames near Walton Bridges, Tate Gallery, London

The Thames and its picturesque banks were a source of inspiration to Turner. The view is taken from the South West, looking downstream, with the river curving round to the left and a wooded ridge of ground running along the right hand side which obscures the view of the ancient market town of Walton itself.

J.M.W. Turner, R.A., Walton Bridges Study for Walton Bridges, Thames from Reading to Walton Sketchbook, Turner Bequest XCV, p. 23, Tate Gallery, London

Turner had spent much of his life travelling extensively across Europe and within Britain. The paintings he executed of the Thames represent a rare moment of repose and picturesque tranquility within his work. The value of this painting lies in the fact that Turner took the chance to capture his love of the bucolic simplicity of his native land.

Portrait of a Venetian Nobleman

Ranking in number two is Portrait of a Venetian Nobleman by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640). The oil painting on oak panel has a measurement of 59 x 48 cm and is estimated at  £3m - 4m.

The artwork captures the penetrating gaze of an evidently powerful man, a Renaissance man who is accustomed to leading, and to getting his own way. The artist imbued this portrait with much of his own personality, so that while not a self-portrait, it is a study of a man in whom Rubens recognised something of his own character and standing – another successful man of his own times, and perhaps too, like Rubens, something of a polymath. The bravura brushwork has no hint of hesitancy, making this painting a superb example to reveal Rubens’ confidence and artistic personality.

Jan Brueghel the Elder's A Wide Village Street in Summer With Carts, Villagers and Gentlefolk

The next two lots share the same estimate of £2.5m - 3.5m. They are A Wide Village Street in Summer With Carts, Villagers and Gentlefolk by the great landscape painter Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568 - 1625), and The Holy Family With Five Angels by the German Renaissance master Hans Baldung Grien (1484/5 - 1545).

Jan Brueghel the Elder's A Village Street with Carts, Villagers and Gentlefolk. Sotheby’s New York, 28 January 2000, lot 49

A Wide Village Street in Summer With Carts has fine copper support made by the finest contemporary maker Pieter Stas. This reflects the importance the artist attached to a medium whose smooth surface would best allow him to display his extraordinarily fine and detailed technique. This beautiful village landscape is offered here on the market for the first time in over 150 years.  

Hans Baldung's The Holy Family With Five Angels

A closer look at the painting

The Holy Family With Five Angels was painted around 1507 - 1508 when Hans Baldung was still young. It is also one of only a handful of paintings by him to remain in private hands. In the painting, the Virgin sits upon cushions with the naked infant Jesus upon her lap. Five angels surround their feet while Saint Joseph stands beside them.

Top 4 lots

Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A. Walton Bridges.

Lot no.: 21
Painted: circa 1805 and 1808
Size: 92.7 x 123.8 cm

  • Sold by the artist to Sir John Leicester, 1st Baron de Tabley (1762–1827), for £280 in January 1807;
  • Thomas Wright (1773–1845), Upton Hall, Nottinghamshire;
  • His sale, London, Christie’s, 7 June 1845, lot 58, for 670 guineas to Pennell;
  • Joseph Gillott (1799–1872), Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, by 1847;
  • His sale, London, Christie’s, 27 April 1872, lot 307, for £5,250 to Agnew on behalf of H.W.F. Bolckow;
  • Henry William Ferdinand Bolckow (1806–1878), M.P.;
  • Sold by his executors, London, Christie’s, 2 May 1891, lot 105, to Agnew on behalf of Lord Wantage;
  • Brigadier General Robert Loyd-Lindsay, 1st Baron Wantage, VC, KCB, VD (1832–1901), Lockinge, Oxfordshire;
  • Thence by descent to the present owner.

Estimate: £3,000,000 - 5,000,000

Sir Peter Paul Rubens. Portrait of a Venetian Nobleman.

Lot no.: 17
Painted: circa 1610 - 1612
Size: 59 x 48 cm

  • Probably identifiable in Rubens’ possession at the time of his death in 1640 as 'Vn visage apres Tinctoret', no. 70, or as 'Vn pourtrait d’vn gentilhome de Venise', after Titian, no. 41;
  • Rousselle, Brussels, 1897;
  • With F. Kleinberger, Paris and New York, 1911;
  • Leopold Koppel, Berlin (d. 1933), by 1914;
  • His only son Albert Leopold Koppel (Dresden 1889–1965 New York), Toronto, by 1948, when shipped by him from Toronto to Rosenberg & Stiebel in New York, where it arrived on 20 February for storage;
  • With Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York, 1951, when appraised in January, and sold by them to Durand Matthiesen, Geneva, the proceeds remitted to Albert Koppel in November;
  • With Matthiesen, London, 1954;
  • Dr Hans Wetzlar, Amsterdam, probably acquired 1954–55, and certainly by 1959;
  • Thence by descent.

Estimate: £3,000,000 - 4,000,000

Jan Brueghel the Elder. A Wide Village Street in Summer With Carts.

Lot no.: 51
Painted: circa 1607
Size: 25.4 x 35.5 cm

  • Johann Moritz Oppenheim (1801–1864), London;
  • His posthumous sale, London, Christie's, 4 June 1864, lot 7, £141.15s. to Holloway;
  • Alfred Morrison (1821–1897), Fonthill House, Wiltshire;
  • By inheritance to his son Hugh Morrison (1868–1931);
  • By inheritance to his son John Granville Morrison (1906–1996), later 1st Lord Margadale of Islay;
  • By family descent until 1998 when acquired by private treaty from the above by the present owner.

Estimate: £2,500,000 - 3,500,000

Hans Baldung, called Grien. The Holy Family With Five Angels.

Lot no.: 10
Painted: 1507 - 1508
Size: 72 x 60 cm

  • English private collection by 1969;
  • With Agnew’s, London;
  • Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 25 November 1970, lot 38 (as School of the Upper Rhine, circa 1500) for £21,500;
  • With Edward Speelman, London;
  • From whom acquired by the father of the present owner;
  • Thence by descent.

Estimate: £2,500,000 - 3,500,000

Auction details
Auction house: Sotheby's London
Sale: Old Masters Evening Sale
Lots offered: 69
2018/6/30, 7/1|12pm - 5pm
2018/7/2, 3|9am - 4:30pm
2018/7/4|9am - 1pm
Sale date: 2018/7/4|7pm