Brian Sewell's art collection to auction in September

Controversial art critic Brian Sewell (1931-2015) knew what he liked. And moreover, what he didn't. So those works that made it into his personal collection are rare birds indeed.

And those pieces are coming to auction on September 27, when the late critic's 200-strong collection sells at Christie's London.

Brian Sewell
Brian Sewell at Christie's in the 1960s

The location is fitting. Sewell, who once declared there "has never been a first-rank woman artist", that "Banksy should have been put down at birth", and that Damien Hirst is "fucking dreadful", worked as an art historian at Christie's between 1958 and 1967.

The pieces range in value from £1,000 ($1,445) to £600,000 ($867,360) for Matthias Stomer's 17th century work Blowing Hot, Blowing Cold.

His prestigious old masters collection is joined by more recent offerings, with John Craxton's 1946 Portrait of Lucian Freud (estimated at £80,000/$115,650) among the standout 20th century works.

Noel Annesley, honorary chairman at Christie's UK, new Sewell well: "Brian was a young man of 27 when he joined Christie's. As his assistant, I got to admire him and to like him enormously.

"He evolved from a rather shy, cerebral art historian turned auction house expert into one of the most famous and widely read British art critics of our time.

"He could be relied upon to provide witty and often devastating judgements. A wonderful instructor, serious but humorous too, he set a standard for us all."

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