Copy of Rubens painting up 328% on estimate at Christie's (PICS)

Christie's Old Master and British Paintings auction has seen impressive bids for a copy of Sir Peter Paul Rubens' The Garden of Love in London on October 30.

While not displaying the deftness of Rubens' work, the painting is still a superb copy of a work that will likely never come to the private market

Created by a member of Rubens' circle, the work was estimated at £20,000-30,000, but collectors soon recognised its quality, pushing the final price to £128,500 ($205,215) - 328% above valuation.

The original work was produced around 1633, shortly after Rubens' marriage to Helena Fourment, whose likeness is seen in the women depicted. It now hangs in the collection of the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

The Rubens original is far more vibrant and skilfully painted

While copy artists offer collectors the chance to own their favourite works at a more affordable price, there is controversy surrounding such paintings at the moment, after Sotheby's allegedly sold a genuine Caravaggio in the belief it was created by one of his followers.

De Loutherberg was likely inspired by the various displays of exotic animals popular in London at the time

The second highest bids of the sale were seen by A Wooded Landscape with Two Monkeys Eating Grapes by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg (1740-1812), which sold with a 676.6% increase on its £15,000 top estimate for £116,500 ($186,051).

The piece is unique in De Loutherbourg's career, with the artist best known for his naval paintings and set designs for London theatres. It is unrecorded in his oeuvre, yet displays his characteristic brushwork and tonality.

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