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Auction record for a drawing by Canaletto

London, 3 July 2019: Moments ago in Sotheby’s Old Master & British Works on Paper Sale, a rare drawing by Canaletto realised £3.1m/ $3.9m, setting a new auction record for a drawing by the artist. A superbly preserved pen and brown ink drawing which ranks among the greatest that the artist ever made, The Presentation of the Doge in S. Marco belongs to a highly original series of twelve depictions of the ceremonies and festival of Doges, the Feste Ducali, the majority of which now reside in museums around the world. Imposing in scale and composition and brilliantly accomplished in its virtuosic lighting and handling of the media, the drawing is a masterpiece in the art of perspective and though unusual in the artist’s canon of work, is very definitive of his genius.

Earlier in the sale, a newly-discovered 16th century work by Rosso Fiorentino sold for £471,000 / $592,047, also setting a new record for a work on paper by the Italian Mannerist. Long thought lost, The Visitation is an extremely rare example of a chalk drawing by Rosso and the first compositional study by the artist to appear on the market for half a century. Although Rosso must have executed many drawings in his lifetime, almost all of his graphic works have been lost over the centuries and this work adds significantly to the understanding of the working method of an artist known for his eccentricity, and expressive, unconventional pictorial style.








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  • Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Canaletto The Presentation of the Doge in S. Marco Pen and brown ink and three shades of grey wash, heightened with touches of white over black chalk within original brown ink framing lines 381 by 550 mm
    Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Canaletto The Presentation of the Doge in S. Marco Pen and brown ink and three shades of grey wash, heightened with touches of white over black chalk within original brown ink framing lines 381 by 550 mm
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Giovanni Battista di Jacopo Rosso, called Rosso Fiorentino The Visitation Black chalk and stylus over the architectural setting, squared for transfer in black chalk and stylus, within grey pen and ink framing lines; bears an old attribution, probably 17th-century, in pen and brown ink, verso: Michellangelo 126 by 119 mm
    Giovanni Battista di Jacopo Rosso, called Rosso Fiorentino The Visitation Black chalk and stylus over the architectural setting, squared for transfer in black chalk and stylus, within grey pen and ink framing lines; bears an old attribution, probably 17th-century, in pen and brown ink, verso: Michellangelo 126 by 119 mm
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • J.M.W. TURNER_SUN-RISE. WHITING FISHING AT MARGATE_£800,000 - 1.2 million
    J.M.W. TURNER_SUN-RISE. WHITING FISHING AT MARGATE_£800,000 - 1.2 million
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus