Princess Diana's Rubens and $45m Turner lead Master Paintings Week

As we previously reported earlier this week, Old Masters and other centuries-old works are ruling the art markets throughout this week.

Last night, Sotheby's achieved a World Record price for Joseph William Turner's masterpiece, Modern Rome. The work brought $45,029,900 - a new auction record for a Turner.

According to reports, the work was consigned by a descendant of the 5th Earl of Rosebery. Rosebery bought the painting back in 1878 while on honeymoon with his wife Hannah Rothschild.

Turner's masterpiece, Modern Rome, sold for a World Record £30m

And the Turner sale wasn't the only major sale this week. At Christie's, Rubens' powerful A Commander Being Armed for Battle, dated to circa 1613-1614, brought an incredible final price of $13,663,898.

Depicting an anonymous commander being dressed in his armour, the painting's provenance is as impressive as the powerful and psychologically-complex image itself.

Originally auctioned with a lower estimate of $12,136,000, the painting was hung in Althorp, the ancestral home of the prominent aristocratic Spencer family of which Princess Diana was a member.

Rubens' powerful A Commander Being Armed for Battle

More Spencer artefacts are going under the hammer at Christie's today, including the family's antique furniture, porcelain and art objects. Watch this space for more news on the sale.

Elsewhere in the markets, old master paintings aren't the only pieces doing well at auction - both Christie's and Sotheby's have reported booms of 139% and 60% in their sales of contemporary art (you can see our special report, here).

Meanwhile, for collectors interested in Princess Diana, there are a number of rare and very valuable signed photographs featuring Diana, Prince Charles and Princes William and Harry on which more information can be found here.


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