Preview

Auctions

News
Art market

'Enthralling' but 'contested': why Sotheby's $80m Botticelli continues to mystify experts

Star lot of upcoming New York Master Week sales is set to smash previous auction record for the Early Renaissance painter

News
Auctions

Rejected Tintin cover design sets record for comic book art with €3.2m auction price

Sale of controversial 1936 painting criticised by organisation behind artist Hergé’s estate

Podcast

The white supremacist art at the heart of the US Capitol

Plus, a $2.2m Batman comic and the artists inspired by political theorist Hannah Arendt

Comment
Diary of an art historian

Auction houses have finally entered the Amazon age—and I’m addicted

I thought I’d kicked my online art and antiques buying habit but too much lockdown screen time has been my undoing

Interview
Art market

A crisis hits the art market once a decade. What is different this time? Christie's president Dirk Boll assesses the impact of the pandemic

As his new book is published, the auction house chief compares coronavirus fallout to previous economic disasters

News
Art market

European auction houses weather crisis as customers spend millions on art online

Expecting the worst, French, German and Austrian auction houses have been surprised by how well sales have held up through the pandemic

News
Auctions

Warhol, Oldenburg, Fontana: star works from Christo and Jeanne-Claude collection go on the block

Proceeds from the pieces sold at Sotheby’s Paris in February will go towards the artist duo's estate

Comment
Art Market Eye

Asian art market flies in the face of coronavirus

Why are Asians in hot pursuit of art, and what are they buying?

News
Art market

Grime stars: paintings set new records for Domenico Ghirlandaio and Jan Davidsz de Heem despite being covered in dirt

Christie's end of season Old Masters evening sale in London totals £22.8m, despite last-minute withdrawal of Bernadino Luini's Nativity

Analysis
Art market

‘We have to broaden our reach, be more interesting’: the year the Old Master trade went digital

The pandemic has forced a resolutely analogue trade to go digital. Despite the technical hurdles, the results have surprised even traditionalists

News
Art market

Record for Barkley Hendricks and $18.2m Calder at otherwise unremarkable Sotheby’s sale

Almost half of the auction's total sales value was bought by Asian buyers, but 12 lots sold below their estimates

News
Art market

Rare Georges de la Tour painting sells for record €4.3m—the most expensive Old Master painting ever sold at auction in Germany

The 17th century painting of a young girl blowing on brazier by the French baroque painter sold at Lempertz in Germany today

News
Art market

Christie’s and Sotheby’s ordered to disclose dealings with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Sales of paintings by Cézanne and Picasso worth a combined $139m are also under scrutiny by the US Virgin Island attorney general

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Poignant Van Gogh watercolour of a windmill coming up for sale

Sheltering from a rainstorm at the mill, Vincent and his brother Theo made a teenage pact

News
Auctions

A tale of two cities: Christie's 20th-century relay sale sees six records set in Hong Kong before slower New York finish

In demand contemporary artists hit big in Asia but several Modern stalwarts failed to make a splash in multi-city hybrid auction

News
Museums

A date with Mona Lisa? A painting by Soulages? Louvre's fundraising auction offers all to the highest bidder

Online sale seeks to support a new space for art education and outreach that will open in the autumn of 2021

Analysis
Art market

All ears: why collectors can’t get enough of industry hype right now

In an increasingly asset-driven art trade, collecting by listening to the buzz is fast becoming the norm

News
Art market

Carphone Warehouse billionaire David Ross did buy the Royal Opera House's $12.8m Hockney—now he is loaning it back

The portrait of David Webster will return immediately to the opera house before going to the National Portrait Gallery in 2023 for its reopening exhibition

News
Art market

Rediscovered painting by Leonardo da Vinci's 'little devil' lover and collaborator sells for record €1.7m in France

Penitent Magdalene by Salaì, who entered Leonardo's workshop at the age of ten, was estimated at €100,000 to €150,000 and is one of only a handful of known works by the artist

News
Discoveries

Constable oil sketch—previously dismissed as fake—goes on sale for £150,000

Sworder's auction house is selling the work, which is one of many by the Romantic painter depicting the area around Dedham Vale where he grew up

News
Art market

Collection of Balthus drawings and paintings to be sold for €1.2m—so why no mention of his infatuation with pubescent girls?

The works are from the estate of the artist’s teenage “muse and model” Frédérique Tison, who was also his step-niece

Analysis
election 2020

What the presidential election means for the US art market—no matter who is in the Oval Office

A dwindling middle market faces a stingy Senate while rising inequality and public unrest could prompt even more private sales

Blog
Diary

Ed Sheeran is selling his Lego set—and his art

The singer has donated his "Jackson Pollocky" painting to a GeeWizz charity auction alongside hand-written song lyrics and other memorabilia

Podcast

Has coronavirus helped unmask the real prices of art?

Plus, JMW Turner at the Tate and John Stezaker on Bruegel

News
Art market

Giacometti, De Chirico and Alfa Romeo cars lead Sotheby's $283m New York sales after major museum works abruptly pulled

Following weeks of controversy, the Baltimore Museum of Art withdrew two paintings just hours before the auction while many other works sold near low estimates

News
Deaccessioning

Baltimore Museum of Art calls off sale of Warhol, Still and Marden after outcry

Last-gasp decision after talks with the US museum directors association comes just before a Sotheby’s auction

News
Deaccessioning

Sotheby's sale of Israeli museum artefacts delayed after government pressure

Criticism in Israel reached an apex when President Rivlin called for the state to prevent the London auctions

Podcast

The great museum sell-off: should public collections deaccession to survive Covid-19?

Plus, the artist Jennifer Packer on a Buddhist mural in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

News
Auctions

The Royal Opera House's David Hockney painting sells for £12.8m at Christie's amid deaccessioning debate

The auction house's four-part £90.2m "20th Century: London to Paris" sale saw small bursts of energy for quality lots in the wake of Frieze and Fiac's cancellations

News
Deaccessioning

Responding to outcry, Baltimore Museum of Art board chair defends deaccessioning decision

“The greatness of the BMA’s collection does not live within three individual paintings,” she says as the sale of a Warhol, Still and Marden approaches

News
Art market

Revealed: sellers of £7.6m Banksy were London collectors who provided venue for artist's 2005 Crude Oils exhibition

As part of the deal, Roland and Jane Cowan acquired the faux Impressionist canvas from the artist—it sold last night at Sotheby's

Comment
Art Market Eye

A flood of art? The market issues around museum deaccessioning

A flurry of museum pieces is heading to auction, but will there be enough buyers for them?

News
Art market

Sotheby's to offer monumental Giacometti bronze in rare 'sealed bid' sale with a minimum bid of $90m

Last sold at auction for $4.9m, offers will be reviewed ahead of the auction house's contemporary and Impressionist and Modern art evening sales on 28 October in New York

News
Auctions

Phillips London sets new records for Emily Mae Smith and Portia Zvavahera in £26.3m contemporary evening sale

While the top lot of the night—a fiery self-portrait by George Baselitz—struggled to meet its low estimate, a bidding war broke out over Dana Schutz's painting of a bright orange Trump

News
Deaccessioning

Former trustees and donors ask state to block sale of three important works by the Baltimore Museum of Art

Letter asks Maryland attorney general and secretary of state to investigate planned deaccessioning of a Warhol, Still and Marden

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Coveted Van Gogh bouquet to be sold at Sotheby's New York, valued at $18m

Chequered past: from the Bear Skin to the Nazis, a once-restituted painting is now coming up for auction

News
Deaccessioning

Brooklyn Museum steams ahead on deaccessioning

After netting $4.2m for a Cranach, the museum plans to sell off works by Monet, Dubuffet, Degas, Miró and Matisse

News
Deaccessioning

To mirror, and support, community: Everson Museum board chair defends deaccessioning of a Pollock

Auction proceeds will go towards diversifying the collection at the Syracuse institution with “inspirational” art

News
Restitution

Nazi-looted Dutch Old Master to be auctioned in settlement between heir and current holder

The Golden Age work by Aelbert Cuyp was looted from Jacques Goudstikker and acquired by Hermann Göring

News
Deaccessioning

Palm Springs Art Museum will deaccession a work by Helen Frankenthaler at Sotheby's

The work carries an estimate of $2.5m to $3.5m and will help the museum cope with its financial struggles amid the Covid-19 pandemic

News
Art market

Deutsche Bank to auction Kandinsky and Schiele works from collection

Three works are to be sold at Christie’s in Paris this month; further sales to follow

News
Art market

Gerhard Richter painting becomes most expensive western work ever sold at auction in Asia

The $29.2m painting sold at Sotheby's last night in a live-streamed contemporary art sale that took place in Hong Kong as Christie's held its marquee sale in New York

News
Auctions

T-Rex takes on Twombly at Christie's $341m 20th-century evening sale

Unusual $32m Jurassic-era offering stole the high-tech livestreamed show in New York, but buyers kept bids cautious elsewhere

Analysis
Art market

Livestreamed auctions make gameshows of art, but where is the glamour?

Christie's and Sotheby's have rapidly adapted to 'bricks and clicks' sales, but they will need to do more to attract top-notch consignments and the experience-hungry generation

Interview
Auctions

Hong Kong dealer Johnson Chang on selling his collection and rethinking art for a new era

The collector and gallerist explains why he moved his central Hong Kong gallery and is parting ways with some of his favourite works at Sotheby's this week

News
Deaccessioning

Baltimore Museum of Art will sell important paintings by Warhol, Still and Marden

Acting on relaxed rules, it will use the funds for collection care and salary increases as well as diverse acquisitions

News
Auctions

Judy Chicago's Birth Project series work will benefit Planned Parenthood as reproductive healthcare comes under renewed threat

With a high estimate of $350,000, the sale of "Trinity Birth Quilt" at Sotheby's Choice Works charity auction event could reset the artist's auction record

News
Art market

A new online auction house wants to reduce speculation on emerging artists' markets

Founded by former Christie's vice president Shlomi Rabi, Greenhouse will also donate 5% from every sale to a scholarship fund for Black students studying art history

Comment
Art market

Bubbles, sheikhs and the freeport frenzy: Georgina Adam reflects on 30 years of art market reporting

Our art market editor-at-large looks back on three decades of booming sales and soaring prices, from Middle Eastern emergence to the evolution of auction houses

News
Auctions

Los Angeles shows its love for Beirut with online charity art auction

Standout works include a haunting photograph by Rania Matar and an image of Muhammad Ali by French street artist Mr Brainwash

Analysis
Art market

V.S. Gaitonde's £3.4m record-breaking painting leads strong South Asian sales season

Glut of collections have come to auction this month, with strong results for lesser-known Indian Modernists broadening a narrow market

News
Auctions

This $80m Botticelli could be one of the most expensive portraits ever sold at auction

The painting, to be offered at Sotheby's New York in January, is estimated to sell for 100 times more than the owner paid for it in 1982

News
Brazil

Court-ordered auction of works from disgraced Brazilian banker's collection prompts new controversy

The Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of São Paulo claims it is owed $3.6m for conserving and storing around 1,600 works repossessed from bankrupt Banco Santos president Edemar Cid Ferreira

News
Deaccessioning

Cranach, Courbet and Corot: a closer look at what the Brooklyn Museum is selling off

The institution is deaccessioning its only Cranach and 11 other works to finance care of its collection

News
Auctions

Shipwrecked, disinherited, imprisoned, accused of being a Gunpowder Plotter: Tudor adventurer’s portrait hits the block

Portrait thought to be of Thomas Arundell is to be auctioned at Woolley & Wallis this week

News
Auctions

Sotheby’s teams up with the Keith Haring Foundation to auction Haring’s personal collection for charity

All works—by artists such as Basquiat, Warhol and Rammellzee—will make their auction debut in the sale, which is expected to make $1m for the LGBTQ nonprofit the Center

News
Art market

Christie’s to hold marquee sales in New York in early October—but will Sotheby's follow suit?

With no Frieze Art Fair, contemporary art London sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips will now take place at the end of October, when Fiac is due to open in Paris

News
UAE

World's biggest canvas painting—the size of two football fields—to be auctioned in Dubai for charity

The record-breaking work by the Dubai-based British artist Sacha Jafri will be sold to promote "global digital equality"

News
Art market

Christies winds up belated summer auction season with £21.2m Classic Art sale led by £4m Rubens

16th century Italian marble attributed to Antonio Lombardo steals the show, but auction house's digital face is showing its age against stiff competition

News
Art market

Restituted Renaissance battle scene highlight of Sotheby’s pick-and-mix £150m evening sale

Six works were withdrawn by nervy vendors just before the start but Rembrandt to Richter sale still totalled nearly £150m, topped by a £22.3m Joan Miró

News
Banksy

Banksy triptych—estimated at £1.2m—to be sold at Sotheby's in aid of Palestinian hospital

Artists has donated the works, which were previously on display in his Walled Off hotel in Bethlehem

News
Art market

Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum seeks to recover ancient Egyptian jars before auction

The vessels, containing 2,600-year-old mummified internal organs, are due to be sold in Munich tomorrow

News
Auctions

Colville’s Dog and Bridge has its day at Heffel’s live sale in Toronto

But fewer than ten buyers physically attended the auction, with most bidding done over the phone and in the “digital salesroom”

Analysis
Art market

Sanyu, Zao Wou-Ki and Liu Ye: the Asian masters fetching millions at the Hong Kong auctions

Despite pandemic delays and the new National Security Law, the spring sales in the city last week fetched solid results

News
Art market

How a £3m Soulages almost sank off the coast of Tasmania

The MV Merino had gone aground on its way to Hobart for an exhibition of Modern French art in 1953

News
Art market

Sotheby's to sell Bridget Riley painting from Heathrow executive lounge as British Airways 'fights for survival'

Auction house appointed to sell £1.4m of art from the beleaguered airline's collection this month

News
Art market

Christie's $420.9m global relay sale was ambitious—but did they really need four auctioneers?

The four-hour event was intended to illustrate the auction house's global and democratic nature, but it also showed that less is often more

News
Art market

Sotheby's to auction £4m restituted Bellotto painting that Jewish retail magnate was forced to sell to Hitler

The view of Dresden's Zwinger moat had been returned to the heirs of Max Emden and will now be offered for sale in London on 28 July

Analysis
Art market

Could Covid-19 kill off the market for the art world’s star names?

Some big artists may be toppled from their pre-pandemic pedestals and new ones promoted to the art-as-investment pantheon

News
Art market

Quran quietly sells for record £7m despite questions over its provenance

Manuscript sold at Christie's first live sale in London since the coronavirus lockdown, but academics say its ownership history should be more transparent

Preview
London Art Week

From a £16m Rembrandt to a £3,000 dolphin, London Art Week for every (ok, some) budgets

Highlights from the online version of the “pre-contemporary art” event for galleries and auction houses which launches today and runs until 10 July

News
Auctions

Waning market for African artefacts? Controversial Benin bronze fails to sell at Christie's

Academics challenge the provenance of the Edo plaque as well as two Igbo alusi figures that sold under estimate for €212,500

News
Art market

Brave new world: Francis Bacon triptych sells for $84.5m in Sotheby's first major live-streamed evening sale

Marathon online high-tech auction was the first of its kind attempted by Sotheby's and totalled $363.2m, boosting confidence that a top-end market still exists

Analysis
Art market

A brave new virtual world or joyless mundane experience? Glamour of collecting gets lost in online translation

Digital transactions cannot replicate the social cachet of buying art at exclusive events—and prices will inevitably slide as a result

News
Art market

Friends with benefits: art dealers cosy up to auction houses for online sales

As part of a growing trend, Sotheby's is launching The Dealer's Eye, two sales of works consigned by nearly 40 Old Master galleries in London and New York

News
Art market

Historic Tunisian items withdrawn from Paris auction after heritage body claims works left country illegally

More than 100 objects once belonging to the Tunisian politician Habib Djellouli, including an ancient Quran, are at the centre of the controversy

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Only joint letter from Van Gogh and Gauguin—recording their brothel visits—comes up for sale

Vincent describes his artist friend as having the “instincts of a wild beast”

News
Art market

Code-cracking lot: Second World War Enigma machine on offer at Vienna’s Dorotheum

The Germans believed Enigma was uncrackable; cryptographers at Bletchley Park broke the code, contributing to the Allies’ victory

News
Auctions

Sotheby’s offers major works by 20th century female artists in $50m Ginny Williams Collection sale

Coinciding with the auction house's New York sale room re-opening in June, the sale marks the first time female artists will comprise over two-thirds of the value of an evening auction

News
Art market

Strong sales as France restarts live auctions

Artcurial, the first auction house to reopen, doubled its sale estimate as lockdown seems to have "sharpened" buyers' appetite

Podcast

Is the future of the art market online?

Plus, Rebecca Salter on Léon Spilliaert. Produced in association with Christie's

News
Auctions

Just the one: Christie's scraps major June New York sales in favour of a 'global relay' auction in July

Hybrid sale of 20th century art and design will take place over four live-streamed sessions in Hong Kong, Paris, London and New York

Interview
Art market

'It's a time to do things, not think': Danny Katz on the art of dealing and not overthinking in a pandemic

Ahead of his sale at Sotheby's this month, the London art dealer talks about the obsessive pursuit of knowledge and why he is not interested in contemporary art

Comment
Art market

Auctions are like dating: you can do it online, but sparks only fly in the flesh

The coronavirus lockdown is boosting lower level virtual sales, but only a major live auction will kick-start the top end of the art market and revalidate prices

News
Auctions

First live auction in Germany after lockdown features painting bought for Hitler

Neumeister in Munich will today host a live auction for a maximum audience of 20

News
Controversies

Director of France’s national furniture collection defends plans to sell 100 items at auction to aid healthcare workers

Move prompts fears that works from national museum collections could be sold off too

Comment
Art Market Eye

Auctions: what will change, post-Covid-19?

In the era of social distancing, auctioneers may have to conduct sales to an empty room

Blog
Diary

The curious, spurious tale of David Hockney’s £23m pool painting and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad

News
Art market

Phillips partners with charitable foundation to benefit New Yorkers hardest hit by coronavirus

The auction house will donate all proceeds from a forthcoming online sale to the New York-based Robin Hood Foundation

News
Auctions

Charity auction raises more than €2m for French healthcare workers

Paris-based auction house Piasa hosted online sale of 370 works donated by artists, designers and galleries

Podcast

Can the art market weather the coronavirus storm?

Plus, Sean Scully talks about his favourite "lonely work", The Moroccans by Matisse in New York's Museum of Modern Art. Produced in association with Christie's

News
Art market

Redundancies, pay cuts and staff furloughs at Sotheby's as coronavirus impact bites

Christie's is also making salary cuts and has furloughed between 300-400 staff as lockdown closes auction houses and forces sales online

News
Art market

Sotheby's postpones New York May 'gigaweek' sales due to coronavirus

Move is in line with Christie's and Phillips which postponed their sales to late June, but Sotheby's is yet to announce when its auctions will actually happen

News
Art market

Christie's and Phillips move May 'giga-week' New York sales to end of June due to coronavirus

Expanded 20th century art week in US will swallow up London auctions. Sotheby's has yet to make a decision about its New York Spring sales

News
Art market

In a drastic move, Christie's shuts most locations and postpones sales due to coronavirus

Auction house has closed New York saleroom along with other offices—Sotheby's follows suit while Phillips has postponed all events and sales until mid-May

News
Art market

Sotheby’s relocates April Hong Kong auctions to New York due to coronavirus

The firm is also rolling its London June sales into one week for the first time in more than a decade

News
Australia

Street art auction in aid of Australian bushfire clean-up includes works by Banksy and Shepard Fairey

The Bushfire Relief Auction in Melbourne has been organised by the collectors Sandra Powell and Andrew King and prices start at £200