Saturday, January 30, 2010

London: A visit to Sotheby's

We built our day around a visit to the Sotheby's preview for the Impressionist and Modern Art Sale. Now this is clearly out of our range unless we win a mega millions lottery, but a great chance to sneak a peak at paintings that are briefly out of private collections before going to new private owners.

Before going to Sotheby's on New Bond Street we went to the Royal Academy of Art to the exhibit of 'The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and his Letters'.

Burlington House which houses the Royal Academy of Art

It was a fantastic exhibit and much better than I ever expected. I was a bit focused on the mention of letters in the title, and thought they would dominate. They only enhanced a comprehensive collection of Van Gogh drawings and paintings. I have seen many Van Gogh's over my lifetime, but never like this. I was entranced by the paintings and felt I learned a lot about Van Gogh's work and life as well.

After the Royal Academy we wandered along Old Bond Street to New Bond. It's a tempting walk of designer shops, and the day was glorious with blue skies, if a bit chilly for London.

Window at Sotheby's

The show was an impressive collection of all the names you would expect and more: Renoir, Bonnard, Seurat, Matisse, and Cezanne. This Klimt is one of the headliners, and estimated at between £12 million and £18 million ($19 million - $29 million). This is the kind of sale that makes the newspapers as a test of the economy.
Klimt: Church in Cassone
After Sotheby's the decision was where to have lunch! One of our favorite restaurants in London is just down the street at 5A Burlington Gardens (right behind the Royal Academy) - Cecconi's. It's got a great buzz to it and wonderful modern Italian food. 

But we decided to go to Daphne's instead. Also wonderful Italian food and a bit less hectic. It's located at Brompton Cross just down from the South Kensington tube stop at 112 Draycott Avenue. It's a bit long to walk from Sotheby's, so taxi, bus or tube are better options.

We had a wonderful meal, and good people watching.

Terrific day in London, and I'll be watching the papers later this week to see what they say about the sale and what it says about the art market and the global economy.

1 comment:

  1. I've never seen that Klimt before, but I like it. Saw several of his works in Austria, and was impressed by "Judith and the Head of Holofernes" and, of course, "The Kiss."


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