Sotheby’s Actual Size sale to showcase small art

Sotheby’s Actual Size sale in London on June 21 will showcase small artworks from some of the world’s top-selling artists.

The sale is named for its concept – all of the artworks on offer will be the same size as they are depicted in the catalogue.

Sotheby's Actual Size

Smaller works have leapt in value over the last few months 

One of the main things that art buyers at the very top of the market look for is size. The larger the canvas, the more it tends to go for.  

However, in recent months Sotheby’s has started to notice higher than average prices paid for small works – including £4.3m ($5.2m) for Gustav Klimt’s Mädchen im Grünen and £8.4m ($10.2m) for Paul Gauguin’s Te Arii Vahine-La Femme aux mangos.

Both are just over 12 inches in width.

Thomas Bompard, Sotheby's UK head of impressionist and modern art, comments: "Sometimes in life, things are perceived to be limited by their size.  

"We’ve all heard 'It is sublime….but it’s small!' or 'He’s great, but so short'.

"However, with the sheer quality of every lot in Actual Size, we expect to hear the cry: 'It’s even more brilliant because it’s small!' These works are often intense: intensely personal, intensely intimate and intensely powerful.

"And then there’s just the fact that certain artists excel on this scale: Dali is never as good as when he paints small.

“There’s an earth-shattering intensity to so many of these works – something which speaks to the discreet sophistication of so many collectors."

There’s no information as to the artists that will feature, but this offers a great opportunity for owners of substantial smaller artworks to consign them in a dedicated sale. 

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