Auction  May 30, 2023  Rebecca Schiffman

Masterpieces by Alma-Tadema, Moore, and Bouguereau to Headline Getty Collection Auction

Courtesy Christie’s

William-Adolphe Bouguereau Le Printemps, oil on canvas Estimate $250,000-350,000


Featuring exquisite Tiffany lamps, English carpets, and important paintings by Albert Joseph Moore, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, and Bouguereau, the upcoming sale of the Ann and Gordon Getty Collection is sure to be an exciting one. Taking place in New York City on June 14th and 15th, the collection features an extraordinary array of art and furniture from the Gettys’ historic turn-of-the-century Berkeley property, named the Temple of Wings.

Acquired by the Gettys in 1994, the mansion was built in a Greco-Roman style and was decorated by Ann Getty. The furniture and decorative arts up for auction meld together British, Chinese, and Persian tastes to produce a unique and eclectic American style.

(© Lisa Romerein/OTTO) Courtesy Christie’s

A view of the Blue Parlor, Temple of Wings

A highlight of the sale is Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s A Coign of Vantage (1895), which is estimated to sell for $2.5 to $3.5 million. The painting by the Dutch artist portrays three women gazing at a harbor below. With its soft pastel hues and rose tones, this Romantic artwork from the late 19th century evokes the ambiance of ancient Roman or Greek settings. According to Christies, the work was originally hung in the Blue Parlor of the Berkeley residence for all to see.

Courtesy Christie’s

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema A Coign of Vantage, oil on panel Estimate $2,500,000-3,500,000


In a similar fashion is the work Le printemps by William Adolphe Bouguereau painted in 1858. The Bouguereau painting, estimated at $250,000 to $350,000 also employs a combination of Romantic and antiquity styles, with three figures in different pastel-colored robes all looking at a bird’s nest, signaling the start of Spring.

Mrs. Getty’s love for textiles is seen in the plethora of rugs featured in the sale. Many were produced by members of the Arts and Crafts movement, an international trend that was popular in the British Empire that focused on raw materials, simple forms, designs, and motifs inspired by nature, and the use of traditional disciplines and techniques.

There are quite a few rugs up for auction by William Morris, one of the most significant members of the movement. His hand-knotted Hammersmith rug carries an estimate of $70,000 to $100,000.

Courtesy Christie’s

A William Morris 'Hammersmith' Carpet Designed for the Sanderson Family's 'Buller's Wood', Chislehurst, Kent, Circa 1890


Jonathan Rendell, Christie’s Deputy Chairman – Americas, said of the sale, “Another bravura performance by the multitalented Ann Getty.” He continued, “The interior blended the earnest tenets of the Arts and Crafts movement, the magical productions of Tiffany Studios, and the aesthetic costume of Fortuny with Roman maidens of Leighton and Alma Tadem. It was a magical place."

Courtesy Christie’s

Tiffany Studios A 'Wisteria' Table Lamp, circa 1905, Estimate $400,000 – 600,000


The first part of the sale was a blockbuster event back in October 2022 and brought in over $79 million, with proceeds benefiting the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation for the Arts. For this second part, proceeds of the sale will benefit select arts and science organizations designated by Ann and Gordon Getty.

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