VISNEWS recorded June 24 the world's biggest art deal-- as Rubens famous painting of "The Adoration of the Magi" was sold at Sotheby's, London, in a minute and a half for GBP275,000.
GV. EXT. Sotheby's
GV INT. Action in progress.
SV Man who purchased painting wipes his face with handkerchief.
LV PAN PAINTING "ADORATION OF MAGI" pan to purchaser surrounded by reporters.
SV Interview with purchaser..Leonard Koetzer.
EDITORS PLEASE REFER PROD.NO.3800.
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Background: VISNEWS recorded June 24 the world's biggest art deal-- as Rubens famous painting of "The Adoration of the Magi" was sold at Sotheby's, London, in a minute and a half for GBP275,000. Bought by noted London dealer, Leonard Koetser, the art treasure -- first brought to England by Lord Grosvenor in 1806,--will now remain in Britain.
The auction room was packed, and many ticket-holders watched bidding on closed-circuit television in adjoining rooms. Floorboard in the gallery were removed to get the painting (more than ten feet high and eight feet long) inside.
The price reached is by far the highest paid for a single painting. Previous record was also at Sotheby's when Cezanne's "Boy in the Red Waistcoat" was bought for GBP220,000. The day's sale was estimated to be anther world record GBP740,480: GBP72,000 was paid for a work by El Greco.
Rubens masterpiece, sold for the Duke of Westminster, was first bought in England in 1806 for 800 guineas by Lord Grosvenor, an ancestor of the present Duke. It has been with the Grosvenor family ever since. Total sale of the Duke of Westminster's collection: GBP429,000.
Considerable interest was shown in the Rubens painting when it was feared it might leave the country. On June 17 the British House of Lords was told that overseas buyers had been warned by the National Gallery trustees that they would seek to prevent its export abroad.
The masterpiece depicts the nativity scene with the Holy family in the Bethlehem stable during the visit of the three Kings. Standing on the right beside the manger, the Virgin, rising to her feet, holds ut the baby Jesus as she moves towards the Kings and their entourage. Two angels hover above the eleven figures in the composition.
Commissioned at fee of 920 florins by the Convent of the Dames Blanches in Louvain, Rubens painted it 1634 in Antwerp in the fast time of eleven days. His wife is believed to have modelled for the Virgin. The magnificent colour combination was achieved by paints made by the master himself -- a secret formula which died with him.