Print news from around the world Monday, Mar 23 2009 

A short roundup of print news from around the world:

Youenoch has an aminated version of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.

Mercuriuspoliticus was delighted to see  “The Headless Horseman”, an engraving by Pierre Lombart which underwent some drastic changes.

Clara Lieu spotted the grouchiest looking putto ever in the etching/engraving Allegory of the Arts by the Italian Andrea Giovanni Podesta (1608-~1674).

The iconic woodblock print  In the well of the great wave off Kanagawa by Katshushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was sold at Christie’s for $68’500. The equally beautiful The Tama River in Musashi province from the same series Fugaku sanjurokkei (The thirty-six views of Mount Fuji) fetched $5’000.

Edward Sozanski shows us When European prints went supersized.

Old master prints auction at Christie’s Monday, Nov 10 2008 

Artdaily points out to an auction of 61 important old master prints over at Christie’s, featuring works on paper by Rembrandt, Goya, Mantegna, Dürer and other Old masters. Estimated prices range from £1,500 for Daniel Hopfer’s Three German Soldiers with Halberds and a Dog to a staggering £450,000 for Rembrandt’s Christ crucified between the two Thieves: ‘The Three Crosses’ .

Rembrandt etching bought by 13 years old at Art fair Friday, Jun 1 2007 

Rembrandt - Agony in the Garden (1663) “I spotted it and immediately knew that was the kind of thing I wanted: “The Agony in the Garden”. It was really a stunning piece. You could see the expression on Jesus’ face, how passionate it was. It’s above my bed.” Those are the words of Brahm Wachter, who bought this original Rembrandt etching at the 2003 Maastricht art fair (click on the thumbail to the left for a full size version of the etching). Now this alone probably wouldn’t be enough in order to be mentioned in todays art market news, weren’t there the fact that the collector was 13 years old at that time he bought it with his bar mitzvah money.

While market and investing oriented magazines like Forbes interpret this as the start to a successfull art investing career, I see it rather as the first steps of an art passionate, or an “art amateur” (from Latin amare, to love); despite the fact that Brahm is the son of George Wachter, worldwide head of the old masters department at Sotheby’s.


Curators From the Cradle: Marbles, Bugs and Warhols (The New York Times, May 13, 2004)

Highest auction price ever for an engraving Monday, May 14 2007 

Rembrandt - St. Jerome Reading in an Italian LandscapeSpiraling prices for Old Master paintings and drawings are common in todays auction market. Take for example the over eight million British pounds paid for the study of The Risen Christ by Michelangelo Buonarotti (1475-1564), sold at Christie’s in 2000.

I was wondering what the highest price ever paid for an Old Master Print (engraving or etching) might be, and came across a news article from the New York Times edition of November, 1983:

A first state engraving (or etching, dry point and engraving, to be precise) of “St. Jerome Reading in an Italian Landscape” by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was sold at Christie’s in 1983 for $181’500. This was the highest price for a print ever fetched at an auction, surpassing even the previous record held by Picasso’s “Minotauromachie”, sold in 1981 at Christie’s as well.The engraving was bought by David Tunick, a New York based art dealer specialising in Old Master and Modern Prints.

Now i’m wondering whether this still holds true. If not, who might be the new top selling Old Master etcher/engraver? I’d bet on Rembrandt, Dürer or Mantegna…


New York Times: Rembrandt Engraving Brings Record $181,500.-

“St. Jerome Reading in an Italian landscape” at the University of Michigan Art Museum