Works by several notable old masters are to auction on January 29 in New York, including Veduta di Roma, a drawing by Dutch Golden age landscape painter Gaspar van Wittel (1653-1736).
The long awaited sale will also feature Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's The Holy Family with Two Saints, Francois Boucher's Two Satyrs, and Head of a Woman Looking Left, a chalk drawing by Guido Reni. Although pre-auction estimates are yet to be released, 2012 proved to be a propitious year for art sales, with work by the old masters performing particularly well.
In December of last year, Raphael's Head of an Apostle became the most valuable old master drawing ever to be sold at auction, bringing £29.7m ($47.8m) at Sotheby's in London. The overall world record for any old master work at auction is currently held by Sir Peter Paul Rubens' The Massacre of the Innocents, which sold for £49.5m ($77.2m) at Sotheby's in 2002.
Work by Van Wittel has previously performed extremely well at auction. Vanvitelli, a characteristically detailed landscape depicting a view of the Tiber, brought £1m ($2.1m) at Christie's in December 2006 - representing a 114.4% increase on its £500,000 ($984,500) high estimate.
The popularity of the old masters among collectors cannot be overstated, and with a number of Sotheby's annual old masters events rapidly approaching, January could well prove to be another important month for art sales.
For more information on the art market, visit our investing in art and photography pages.
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