A self-portrait by Rembrandt has sold for a whopping $18.7 million at a Sotheby’s virtual auction on Tuesday. The auctioneer deems this a record price for a self-portrait by a Dutch painter.
Sotheby’s revealed that the end of the art market was “in rude health,” adding that its new live-streamed auction format, which has been adopted due to the coronavirus pandemic, brought in a noteworthy total amount of 192.7 million Tuesday. Six bidders were bent on getting their hands on a 1632 self-portrait that showed a 26-year-old Rembrandt with a ruff and black hat.
The painting fell within the estimate of 12 to 16 million pounds, while the last self-portrait by Rembrandt that went up for an auction in 2003 was sold for 6.9 million pounds, the auction company said. Measuring at about 22 by 16 centimeters (or about 8 by 6 inches), the recently sold painting was one of the only three self-portraits to remain in private hands, and the only one likely to go up an auction.
The sale was a part of a live-streamed global auction which was graced by several pieces of artwork spanning five centuries of art history, from Picasso to Rembrandt, and from Banksy to Joan Miró. The event was attended by the auction house’s Hong Kong, London, and New York offices.
View this post on Instagram
150,000 people tuned into our #RembrandtToRichter Evening Auction tonight…were you watching? 🙋♀️ The grand finale of Sotheby’s global sales series, the auction totalled £150 million, led by Joan Miró’s cobalt ‘dream painting’, which sparked an 11-minute bidding battle before selling for £22.3 million, and Rembrandt’s 1632 self-portrait, which set a new record for a self-portrait by the artist at £14.5 million. The sale saw five lots sell for more than $10 million, and brought Sotheby’s flagship global summer series beyond the billion dollar mark. Watch our stories or head to the link in bio to re-live the highlights 💥 The four concurrent day sales are still open for bidding…head to our website to view the catalogues! – @ob1london @newmanhelena @cladwek
The top-selling item at the auction was Miró’s “Peinture (Femme au chapeau rouge)” (Woman in a Red Hat) from 1927, which sold for a staggering $28.9 million. Sotheby’s noted that the painting, which made its first appearance at the auction since 1966, set the highest sale price in Europe in 2020.
Chair of Sotheby’s Europe Helena Newman the broad range of art on sale caters to “a new generation of collectors (who) show less concern with the traditional art market categories of the past.”
“With the global art world calendar having shifted, we too have seized the opportunity to do things differently,” she added. Stay tuned to AuczarPlus for more auction news and updates from around the world.