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Art dealer to billionaires offers 10 prized works at Christie's
[NEW YORK] An art dealer with clients including billionaires Leon Black and Ronald Lauder is selling 10 works from his private collection that could set individual auction records for some of the masters who created them.
Richard Feigen, 88, who sold paintings to moguls and museums over six decades, is offering the works through Christie's to raise money for retirement, he said in an interview. They span four centuries and include a two-sided John Constable landscape and "Saint Sixtus," a rare, gold-ground Fra Angelico.
At least five will be offered at auction on May 2 in New York, Christie's said in a statement Friday. Others are being sold privately, Feigen said. Some of them spent years hanging in his living room.
Feigen, who founded his gallery in the 1950s after graduating from Harvard Business School, has sold paintings to major museums including the Louvre and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. In 2016, the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles paid US$30.5 million for Orazio Gentileschi's "Danae and the Shower of Gold" after Feigen's family trust loaned it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The upcoming sales aren't expected to fetch quite that much, but they could establish records for some of the artists. For example, "Virgin and Child with Saint Lucy and the Young Saint John the Baptist" by Italian Baroque painter Annibale Carracci is estimated at about US$4 million. His current auction high is US$3.4 million, according to Artnet.
Lorenzo Monaco's round painting on gold ground, "The Prophet Isaiah," is estimated at $1.5 million to $2.5 million. Feigen said he bought it at Sotheby's three decades ago and that the work was originally part of the altarpiece that's now at the nearby Galleria dell'Accademia. The current auction record for the artist is $1.9 million from 2004.
A tiny two-sided work by Constable, depicting a landscape on one side and a cow on the other, is estimated at US$800,000 to US$1.2 million.
The only known still life by Guercino, "Vanitas Still Life," depicting a skull, is estimated at about US$3 million.
"It's one of my favorite pictures," Feigen said.