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While the rest of the economy remains unstable, art is still one of the best investment options—and the Old Masters market in particular is seeing a renaissance. On Tuesday, October 20, Austria–based auction house Dorotheum will put forth for sale a collection of Old Master paintings including everything from some of the Brueghel Family’s greatest hits to new discoveries from Titian’s studio.
Old Master paintings have been doing well at auction throughout the past year, with major auction houses setting new records during their London evening sales this winter. The Dorotheum lots stand to fetch high prices later this month, in particular the unique Titian of Mary Magdalene, one of a long series of portraits of Mary Magdalene from the studio of Tiziano Vecello. Unlike other examples from his later series of clothed Mary Magdalenes, this piece offers subtle details that set it apart from its peers.
The discovery of a previously unknown Old Master painting breathes life into the genre, generating renewed interest in the artists who laid the foundations for the modern and contemporary periods upon which the art economy hinges. Another new piece from Titian’s studio, a composition of Ecce Homo with a portrait of an unknown man buried underneath this masterpiece on reused canvas—typical of the artist’s practice—offers the buyers the chance to own a piece of art history.
It is this ability to forge a connection with the past that makes the Old Masters market exciting. This can be said for the ten paintings from the prolific Brueghel family offered for sale. An April 2015 auction by Dorotheum saw Jan Brueghel I’s Rest by the Windmill go for €523,444 (about $599,000), and the house has similarly high expectations for the artist’s Village Landscape With Canal, to be offered in this fall’s sale at a starting price of €300,000–€400,000 ($341,000–$454,000).
Other highlights include a 16th-century panel from the workshop of Sandro Botticelli, several paintings by Francesco Guardi, and many more treasures waiting to be re-discovered on the auction block. Following the Old Masters sale on October 20, there will be a furniture auction showcasing a rare double secretary desk by David Roentgen on October 21. In November, Dorotheum’s Contemporary Art Sale will feature works by Gerhard Richter, David Ostrowski, and many others. The sale will take place at 6 p.m. on November 25 and 26.