Demand for art continues as £118m of paintings are sold

18th August 2017

Despite the current economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the art market remains resilient in the face of change, with £118 million worth of Old Master paintings and drawings sold at auction earlier this month. 

Among the works of art sold at auction in London was a Francesco Guardi of Venice masterpiece, which came from the descendants of a former arts minister, selling for a staggering £24 million. 

Paul Channon (a Guinness heir) attended the auction, and a piece by JMW Turner was purchased for £18.5 million. A rare preserved ink drawing of a coronation scene in Venice by Canaletto went to art dealer Jean-Luc Baroni. 

According to the Telegraph, a Murillo of Christ crowned with thorns that originally sold for £2.5 million in 2005, was auctioned for £2.7 million. Meanwhile, the Holy Family by the 17th century artist Florentine Alessandro Rosi, was sold to the New York dealer Otto Naumann for £233,000. 

Elsewhere, a mystery seller was revealed to be founder of Camomille Associates, Mr Padulli who has a collection of the Old Master drawings, including works by Watteau, Michelangelo, Andrea del Sarto and others. It is believed that the collection is worth $100 million (£77 million). 

The Telegraph also reported that one of the quickest profits of the sales was made by a bargain-hunter that bought the painting ‘Studio of Rubens’ in 2016 for $27,000. He then ‘polished’ the painting and transformed it completely, then selling it at the auction in London for $538,700.

In addition to this, the painting Anne of Hungary by Jan van Hammersen sold for a triple-estimate record figure of £2.2 million. 

The continuation of sales in the art market shows that the uncertainty that comes with the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU) has not deterred those in the art world. 

Philip Hewat-Jaboor, chairman of Masterpiece London, commented: “London is the centre of the art market, and I am confident that we’ll see again this year that Brexit is not a deterrent [to our patrons]. 

“We opened last year just days after the Brexit vote and saw reliable sales. In fact, the weakness of the pound is a draw for collectors to buy in the United Kingdom. Masterpiece is a place where galleries and specialists from around the world can be found under one roof.”

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