Even though Old Masters are indisputably art treasures, somehow we find that the younger generation of art collectors tend to distance themselves away from them. Hoping to bridge the gap between them, internationally renowned art auction house Sotheby’s and streetwear blog Highsnobriety have now collaborated and released an exclusive streetwear line featuring Sotheby’s Old Masters collection. Concurrently, Sotheby’s will be putting up the referenced artworks for auction in New York.
It does seem like classical art and modern fashion have gotten closer in recent years. In the realm of haute couture for example, Louis Vuitton and Gucci have released clothing and accessories inspired by the Masters. Streetwear wise, Supreme’s hoodie and skateboard referencing Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper must be familiar to most.
The limited-edition collection released by Sotheby’s and Highsnobiety includes T-Shirts for €65, crewneck sweatshirts for €105 and hoodies for €125. The streetwear line is now available for purchase through Highsnobiety’s online store here, as well as at Co.Lab, Highsnobiety’s exclusive pop-up store at Selfridges in London.
Below, we shall discuss the masterpieces referenced in the Sotheby’s x Highsnobiety capsule. First up is An Imaginary Landscape with Allegories of Abundance and Charity created in Prague around the 16th Century.
An Imaginary Landscape with Allegories of Abundance and Charity
Just as the name of the painting suggests, it is quite literally an allegory of abundance and charity – a female figure with golden hair and a crown of red flowers is surrounded by the traditional features like her cornucopia, and at her feet rest animals nursing their young. As charity, she holds her hand to her breast, and the children that normally would closely surround her instead appear in the guise of putti, each representing one of the four earthly elements. The painting will be put up for bidding on 30 January during Sotheby’s Master Paintings & Sculpture Day Sale, with an estimate price of US$60,000-80,000.
Next up is A Sea-Nymph, Probably Galatea, a masterpiece by 17th century female Old Master Ginevra Cantofoli. The painting will be put up for bidding on 30 January during Sotheby’s Master Paintings & Sculpture Day Sale as well, with an estimate price of US$40,000-60,000.
Galatea is a well-known female sea-nymph in Greek mythology. According to legend she often appears in Sicily’s waters, most likely why she is depicted to be wearing a crown of diverse mollusk shells and holding a coral here in the painting. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Galatea turned her mortal lover Acis into a river spirit after he was killed with a boulder by the jealous Cyclops, Polyphemus.
A Sea-Nymph, Probably Galatea
Not much is known about Ginevra Cantofoli unfortunately, and many of her paintings have been lost. She was most likely born in Bologna and received her training as an artist from Elisabetta Sirani, a fellow Bolognese female painter. She painted mainly religious artworks for churches including a Last Supper for the Church of San Procolo.
Last but not least, we shall take a look at A Skeleton Standing on an Open Coffin Holding a Skull and an Arrow, As An Allegory of Earthly Vanity and Heavenly Salvation. It was painted in the mid-16th Century by the Netherlandish school and will be put up for auction during Sotheby’s Master Paintings Evening Sale, with an estimate price of US$60,000-80,000.
Memento mori is a Latin term that roughly translates to “remember that we all must die,” and Memento Mori art is closely linked the to Christian faith calling attention to the inevitability of death, the coming of the Last Judgment and the possibility of divine salvation. The timeless skull image is almost always featured.
Readers who are interested to purchase the new Sotheby’s x Highsnobiety Capsule can do so now here through Highsnobiety’s online store. For readers from China and Taiwan please take note that they only ship to Hong Kong in the Greater China region, so you might want to enlist the help of buyandship companies.