Published: January 30, 2007
The top selling lot of Sotheby’s Old Master paintings sale on January 25 was a rare, late work by Rembrandt, “Saint James the Greater,” from 1661, which sold for $25.8 million to an anonymous buyer.
Rembrandt’s emotive half-length portrait of Saint James the Greater was sought-after by two determined bidders, and it finally sold to an anonymous buyer bidding through a Sotheby’s representative. The price was the second highest price ever paid for a work by this master.
The auction began with another work by Rembrandt — “Portrait of a Young Woman with a Black Cap,” a work that has been recently reattributed to the artist by the Rembrandt Research Project (RRP). Multiple bidders vied for the painting from 1632, driving the final price to $9 million, easily exceeding the high estimate of $4 million.
The series of auctions also included Old Master drawings, European works of art and sculpture and a sale of property from the gallery and private collection of Otto Naumann, the preeminent dealer of Dutch Old Master paintings in America, bringing the grand total for the week to $118,056,600. Auction records were established for Francisco de Zurbarán, Joseph Wright of Derby, Baccio Bandinelli and Pierre-Joseph Redouté and over the course of the week, 14 works were sold for more than $1 million.
A complete report of the sales will appear in a future issue.
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