Julian Hartnoll
37 Duke Street St. James's · London · SW1Y 6DF · 0207 839 3842
fine artmonger · established 1968
Julian Hartnoll's news and views from December 2009

If ever a picture  looked out of place it was the Everdingen, lot  18 in Sothebys highly important old master on Wednesday evening. Have a look at it if you can on  Sothebys web site. Here I have to confess my ignorance of the artist but two things worried me - firstly  if it were a painting of this fineness of the 1640s how could it be estimated at 70 - 80,000 which might perhaps suggest that actually it was, my second concern, a picture of the nineteenth century. To my eye that smooth marble technique owed more to  Ingres than anyone else.


My ignorance was corrected by both Peter Cannon-Brookes and Edward Chaney who explained to me that yes there was a group of Dutch painters, known I think as the Romanistas who were influenced by Caravaggio's concern with light and had adopted  this principle within this smooth finish. Plus David Dallas  put me right that it was of the seventeenth century.


None of this argument would you have guessed from Sothebys entry - and the fact that they acknowledged the expert  ....."We are indebted to Paul Huys Janssens for endorsing the attribution to Everdingen following first-hand inspection of the original, and for suggesting a date of execution between 1645 and 1650." brought a smile to my gloomy face. .....i.e some of their expertise is accepted without first hand inspection !


Anyway dear Sothebys how clever they must think they are for what do you think it sold for £1,160,000 - actually it proves how incompetent they actually are. It was the dealers who knew; they have the real knowledge of the obscure.


by Julian Hartnoll
10 December 2009 12:42 PM

Raphael's drawing at Christies makes over £25,000,000 - did you see it ? An indifferent drawing yet people stood in front of it muttering such words as sublime, majestic.  The price reflected what ? The name, the rarity, the 'sublimity' ? Dearie me. It reminds me of being at the Tate exhibition of Bacon and overhearing these grand ladies in front of one of his gruesome Crucifictions - "oh what superb colour - I do love the gorgeous reds "

by Julian Hartnoll
09 December 2009 2:45 PM