Old-School Selfie: This Self-Portrait Is Worth $5M

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Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) –- Christie’s Co-Chairman, Old Masters & 19th Century Art Nicholas Hall discusses Old Masters week at Christie’s auction house, highlighting one of the featured artists whose self-portrait is estimated to sell for $5M. He speaks to Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Artist and the painting.

Thank you.

This is a self-portrait by one of the greatest women artists who ever lived.

She's on a level so with frida kahlo.

Throughout her career she refers to herself and she paints herself, she inserts herself into the narrative.

In this case, she's playing the role of perhaps a courtisan, certainly a loot player.

It's painted for a collection in the 17th century.

She moved to florence, having been involved in a terrible scandal in rome.

She was sexually assaulted.

She was then tortured to prove her innocence in the proceedings and she was -- the assailant wases found guilty and banished from rome and she married a man from florence and moved to florence where she became an extremely highly regarded artist, admitted to the academia which was a very exclusive group and -- the first woman admitted.

The first woman.

She paints in england later in her career for king charles i. and she produces throughout her career, as i said, these pictures in which she inserts herself, very often she's jude i get, with jude i get slaying.

She can be a magdaline.

At the she can be an amazon.

Rather like cindy sherman today.

Inserting herself into the work.

Into the work.

And she's a sort of iconic figure she stood up for herself as a woman at a time when in the early 17th century rome it was extremely difficult to do.

She did that.

If you like a contemporary as well.

Did she learn from her?

Because her father was able to connect her obviously with the leading artists of the time.

She was part of a group of artists who were very, very influenced.

Of course her chief influence was her father and we see this in the beautiful handling of the modeling of the flesh tones, both of the hands and the face.

Very similar to the way her father would have approached this subject.

But she inserts a strength of character which is uniquely hers.

It almost looks as if she's been able to draw a spotlight on a particular part of her face.

The pagesing itself, 1998 was the last time it was available at auction.

It was found at a private collection.

I think you said $700,000 was the hammer price.

It sold then which was the highest price ever, ever fetched for a painting by her.

It sold then for about $700,000. that was in 1998. we're expecting it to sell for in excess of $3 million.

So in so in 16 years it's gone from $700,000 -- absolutely.

$6 million?

$3 million.

I beg your pardon.

$3 million.

I didn't raise my paddle for that.

Not at all.

What kind of collection does this go into?

A museum collection, private collection?

This has been on loan in a museum in the midwest for many years.

It would be -- there are many museums in america that don't have works by her that would be absolutely perfect for a museum.

But on the other hand, it's a picture that speaks to private collectors too.

And we feel it do speak to a collector not just of old masters but of contemporary art as well.

So it crosses categories.

The value of paintings obviously in the eye of the beholder, because we have to love the painting to part with maybe $3 million.

But in terms of its ability to hold its value, how many of these -- how many did she paint and what's the uniqueness of this?

She paints a relatively small number of paintings and what makes this important is that it's painted at the prime of her career.

When she's in florence, she really -- this is her early works, really the most desirable works that she painted.

We've seen 22% of the pictures week of sold in this last year were sold to new collectors.

So there is a huge emerging market which affects -- it's sort of like the porsche 918 of paintings.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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