Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Women's Day 2016: Michaelina Wautier

Koller sells on 22 March 2016 a "Michaelina Wautier" signed and 1654 dated portrait of Martino Martini, Jesuit missionary in China, estimated at 5,800 to 8,300 Euro.

Nothing wrong with the attribution, I just wanted to highlight a rare painting by one of the few well-known Flemish woman painters of the 17th century. Combined with the Chinese interest, it should easily fetch the estimate and then some. Wautiers (or Wouthiers) very rarely come up for sale, and the most recent one I could find (also at Koller, in 2003) fetched 30,000 Euro. In my opinion the work for sale now is at least as good as that one.

According to Wikipedia, Martino Martini was in Norway in 1653 and in Rome early in 1655, and travelled through Europe, including Amsterdam and Antwerp, inbetween. This would match the date of the portrait exactly.

UPDATE: sold for CHF 480,500! Or some 440,000 Euro. Impressive. I knew the estimate was way too low, but I didn't expect it to soar this high...

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