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On Tuesday April 2nd, Sotheby’s fourth sale of Modern and Contemporary African Art in London amassed £2,316,625 / $3,023,196 (pre-sale estimate: £1.5-2.2 million / $2-2.9 million), creating new auction records for 11 artists in this category. El Anatsui, a contemporary Ghanaian artist, led the sale with his metallic aluminium bottle cap tapestry titled Zebra Crossing 2, achieving £1.1 million / $1.4 million (est. £550,000-750,000); the competitive bidding for the shimmering tapestry realised the third highest price...

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Over 200 works from the private art collection of George Michael are to be auctioned by Christie’s in London this March. The proceeds will help to continue the singer-songwriter’s philanthropic work.  The late George Michael, who died suddenly on Christmas Day in 2016, was a keen visitor to galleries and artist’s studios, where he developed friendships with many of the Young British Art Movement (YBA) artists whose work he admired deeply. His impressive collection represents...

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A well-known but rarely sighted portrait by Lucian Freud is heading to auction for the first time, after hanging in a legendary Irish house in the Wicklow mountains for more than 50 years. The 1956 painting, Head of a Boy, is a tender tribute to its sitter, the late Hon. Garech Browne, wealthy Guinness heir and lifelong friend of figurative British painter Lucian Freud. Executed at the Luggala estate by a 34-year-old Freud when Browne...

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As quickly as it was rediscovered, a painting believed to be a lost work of Renaissance master Michelangelo has disappeared, a matter of days before experts were due to examine it. The 16th-century artwork depicts Mary, Joseph and a sleeping baby Jesus and had been undisturbed in a dark corner of the Sin Ludgerus church in the small Flemish town of Zele. Upon his discovery, pastor Jan Van Raemdonck, 61, noted the startling similarities between...

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After 142 years on New Bond Street, one of London’s oldest commercial art galleries, The Fine Art Society, is marking a new chapter by offering over 300 works in a Sotheby’s auction taking place in February 2019.  The sale on 5 February 2019 will see pieces by some of the most distinguished artists of the last 150 years go under the hammer. Perhaps most significant is James McNeill Whistler—one of the first and most celebrated...

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A rare oil sketch by Rembrandt, Study of a Head of a Young Man (c.1650), sold for £9,480,800 at Sotheby’s Old Masters Evening Sale on 5 December. Appearing on the market for the first time in 60 years, the 17th-century masterpiece left its estimate of £6-8 million far behind at Sotheby’s London auction house. A touching portrait of Christ, the painting until recently hung in the Dutch master’s house in Amsterdam. Interest in the work...

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A portrait of a young Charles Dickens that had been lost for 174 years has been unearthed in a box of trinkets at a junk sale in South Africa. The palm-sized portrait, painted by artist and social campaigner Margaret Gillies in 1843, portrays the celebrated Victorian writer at the age of 31. The portrait was last seen in public in 1844 when it was displayed at the Royal Academy in London and Gillies reported the...

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Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art saw René Magritte’s portrait of patron Edward James, Le Principe du Plaisir (The Principle of Pleasure) (1937), fetch $26.9 million—a new world auction record for the artist. The portrait of one of the most influential patrons of surrealist art—introduced to Magritte by Salvador Dalí in 1937—well exceeded its highest pre-sale estimate of $20 million, after a bidding battle between seven collectors. Commissioned by James himself, the work...

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On 14 November, Sotheby’s will present A Street (1926) and Calla Lillies on Red (1928) by Georgia O’Keeffe in a Contemporary Art Evening Auction for the first time. The stunning Cottonwood Tree in Spring (1943) will also be featured at the American Art Auction, taking place on 16 November. Succeeding the sale of Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic flower painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1 (1932), Sotheby’s will again be offering significant works by the modernist artist to...

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Klimt was the master of symbolism, but was his personal life as scandalous as his paintings? Born on July 14 1862 in Baumgarten, Austria, Gustav Klimt was the son of a struggling gold engraver. Klimt was the second of seven children and lived in poverty while he studied architectural painting at Vienna’s School of Applied Arts. All three of the Klimt boys displayed early artistic talent—as a member of the ‘Company of Artists’ (a group...

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