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Object lessons

Object lessons: works by female artists, from 17th-century Hyperrealism to an Art Nouveau watercolour

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Our pick of the highlights from January's auctions and fairs

Fede Galizia, A glass compote with peaches, jasmine flowers, quinces and a grasshopper (early 17th century). Master Paintings Evening Sale, Sotheby’s, New York, 30 January. Estimate $2m-$3m: This crystalline still-life by the Milanese artist Fede Galizia (1578-1630) is among a cluster of works in this sale by female artists of the 16th to 19th centuries that also includes Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun and others. Although righting a historical wrong in terms of the near-total oversite of female artists before the 20th century, Sotheby’s is certainly jumping onto a trend here—or, as Calvine Harvey, Sotheby’s Old Master paintings specialist in New York, says: “Embracing this momentum [of interest] in female artists, both in the marketplace and academia.” Galizia was trained by her father, the miniaturist Nunzio Galizia, and is best-known for her hyperrealistic still-life paintings. This work was shown at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004 and last surfaced on the market in 2006, when Christie’s New York sold it for $1.64m  (est $500,000-$700,000).
Courtesy of Sotheby's

Fede Galizia, A glass compote with peaches, jasmine flowers, quinces and a grasshopper (early 17th century). Master Paintings Evening Sale, Sotheby’s, New York, 30 January. Estimate $2m-$3m: This crystalline still-life by the Milanese artist Fede Galizia (1578-1630) is among a cluster of works in this sale by female artists of the 16th to 19th centuries that also includes Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun and others. Although righting a historical wrong in terms of the near-total oversite of female artists before the 20th century, Sotheby’s is certainly jumping onto a trend here—or, as Calvine Harvey, Sotheby’s Old Master paintings specialist in New York, says: “Embracing this momentum [of interest] in female artists, both in the marketplace and academia.” Galizia was trained by her father, the miniaturist Nunzio Galizia, and is best-known for her hyperrealistic still-life paintings. This work was shown at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004 and last surfaced on the market in 2006, when Christie’s New York sold it for $1.64m (est $500,000-$700,000).

Elisabeth Sonrel, Les Rameaux (Palm Sunday, 1897). Mireille Mosler, Master Drawings New York, 26 January-2 February. Estimate–$100,000-$125,000: The Art Nouveau painter and illustrator Elisabeth Sonrel (1874-1953) was among the few women selected to hang her paintings in Paris’s Salon in the 19th century. Sonrel, who studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, desired to be known as more than a mere illustrator of stationery, posters and books, and in 1897 her wish was granted when Les Rameaux (Palm Sunday) was included in the Salon. This watercolour, of the same composition, will be shown for the first time in the US by Mireille Mosler during Master Drawings New York
Courtesy of Mireille Mosler

Elisabeth Sonrel, Les Rameaux (Palm Sunday, 1897). Mireille Mosler, Master Drawings New York, 26 January-2 February. Estimate–$100,000-$125,000: The Art Nouveau painter and illustrator Elisabeth Sonrel (1874-1953) was among the few women selected to hang her paintings in Paris’s Salon in the 19th century. Sonrel, who studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, desired to be known as more than a mere illustrator of stationery, posters and books, and in 1897 her wish was granted when Les Rameaux (Palm Sunday) was included in the Salon. This watercolour, of the same composition, will be shown for the first time in the US by Mireille Mosler during Master Drawings New York