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Colby College Acquires Jackson Pollock Painting, and Getty Purchases 13th-Century Rothschild Pentateuch

Plus the National Gallery in London acquired a rare painting by Artemisia Gentileschi, and the Lazinc Gallery sells three Banksy pieces.

Jackson Pollock, "Composition with Masked Forms" (1941), oil on canvas, 27 3⁄4 x 49 3⁄4 in. (image courtesy of Colby College Museum of Art)
Jackson Pollock, “Composition with Masked Forms” (1941), oil on canvas, 27 3⁄4 x 49 3⁄4 in. (image courtesy of Colby College Museum of Art)

Colby College Museum of Art in Maine has acquired Jackson Pollock‘s “Composition with Masked Forms” (1941) from  private collector at an undisclosed price. The work has been held in a private collection since 1973, and according to Colby, “its acquisition was made possible through generous gifts from the Barsalone Family, Peter and Paula Lunder through the Lunder Foundation, and proceeds from the Colby Museum’s Jere Abbott Acquisitions Fund.” Colby put the piece on view on Wednesday, in advance of their annual summer gala on Saturday, and it will remain on view in their permanent collection galleries. Whitney museum director Adam D. Weinberg called this acquisition “a real coup.”

Decorated Text Page (<em>Book of Genesis</em>) from the Rothschild Pentateuch, France and/or Germany, (1296). Leaf: 10 7/8 x 8 1/4 in., Ms. 116 in. (image courtesy of the Getty Museum)
Decorated Text Page (Book of Genesis) from the Rothschild Pentateuch, France and/or Germany, (1296). Leaf: 10 7/8 x 8 1/4 in., Ms. 116 in. (image courtesy of the Getty Museum)

The J. Paul Getty Museum has acquired the Rothschild Pentateuch, a medieval Hebrew manuscript created by an unknown artists and dated 1296. The Pentateuch contains the entire text of the Torah, and it was given as part of an exchange agreement after World War II to a German-Jewish family that later settled in Israel. The manuscript was acquired from private sellers at an undisclosed price. “Its richly illuminated pages — a great rarity in the thirteenth century — make it a work of outstanding quality and importance that represents the pinnacle of artistic achievement of its day. It will be one of the most signal treasures of the Department of Manuscripts and indeed of the Getty Museum overall,” explained Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Letizia Treves and Hannah Rothschild with Artemisia Gentileschi’s "Self-portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria" (image courtesy of the National Gallery London)
Letizia Treves and Hannah Rothschild with Artemisia Gentileschi’s “Self-portrait as Saint Catherine of
Alexandria” (image courtesy of the National Gallery London)

The National Gallery in London acquired Artemisia Gentileschi’s “Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria” (1615–17), the first artwork by a woman artist to be in their permanent collection in 27 years. The painting was discovered in 2017 as the forgotten property of a French family. Last December, a London dealer bought the piece at a Paris auction for £2.3 million (~$3 million). The National Gallery contacted the owner and purchased the work for £3.6 million (~$4.8 million).

Banksy, "Love is in the Air" (2005) (image courtesy of Lazinc Gallery)
Banksy, “Love is in the Air” (2005) (image courtesy of Lazinc Gallery)

Lazinc Gallery in London has sold three Banksy paintings priced between £500,000 (~$661,000) and £1.5 million (~$2 million) within 24 hours of the opening of the show Banksy: Greatest Hits: 2002–2008.

ChristieOld Masters Day Sale in London brought in a total of £4,619,500 (~$6.1 million) on July 6. The sale’s top lot, a 13th century Tuscan school painting of Madonna and Child enthroned with angels,” sold for £992,750 (~$1.3 million).

Christie’s Science and Natural History sale in London brought in a total of £1,191,000 (~$1.6 million) on July 10. The sale’s top lot, a saber-toothed cat, sold for £62,500 (~$82,600).

John William Waterhouse, "Flora" (c. 1898), black chalk on buff paper, 23 1/4 x 18 in. (image courtesy of Christie's)
John William Waterhouse, “Flora” (c. 1898), black chalk on buff paper, 23 1/4 x 18 in. (image courtesy of Christie’s)

Christie’s Victorian Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist art sale in London brought in a total of £4,961,500 (~$6.6 million) on July 11. The sale’s top lot, John William Waterhouse‘s “Flora” (~1898), sold for £500,740 (~$663,000).

Christie’s sale of valuable books and manuscripts in London brought in a total of £6,200,375 (~$8.2 million) on July 11. The sale’s top lot, the Plantin Polyglot Bible, sold for £488,750 (~$647,000).

Sotheby’s English literature, history, science, children’s books, and illustrations sale in London brought in a total of £4,147,764 (~$5.5 million) on July 9. The sale’s top lot, a Charles Darwin autographed manuscript leaf from The Origin of Species, sold for £490,000 (~$650,000).

Sotheby’s Library of an English Bibliophile, Part VIII sale in London brought in a total of £456,326 (~$606,000) on July 10. The sale’s top lot, Lewis Carroll‘s annotated copy of Through the Looking Glass (1893), sold for £37,500 (~$50,000).

Sotheby’s sale of Finest & Rarest Wines in London brought in a total of £1,486,525 (~$2 million) on July 11. The sale’s top lot, a 1982 Petrus, sold for £33,880 (~$45,000).

Sotheby’s 19th and 20th Century Sculpture sale in London brought in a total of £1,930,625 (~$2.5 million) on July 11. The sale’s top lot, Prosper d’ Epinay‘s “Sylvie” (1876), sold for £334,000 (~$442,000).

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