Memento Mori and The Macabre Allure of Michaelina Wautier

This January, Sotheby’s celebrates trailblazing female artists from the 16th through the 19th century with The Female Triumphant, a group of exceptional works of art that will be offered in our Masters Week sales. In spite of extraordinary obstacles, talented artists such as Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, Fede Galizia, and Michaelina Wautier paved the way for future generations of artists everywhere. In this episode of Masterworks: Expert Voices, discover the sophisticated iconography and elegant naturalism of Michaelina Wautier's Garland of Flowers with Brooke Lampley, Vice Chairman, Global Fine Arts. While the skulls suggest death, Wautier's precise rendering of the petals and the lifelike activity of the insects seem to defy nature by both bringing beautiful things to life and preserving them in their thriving state forever. Wautier was not confined to a single specialty and also excelled at portraiture, as exemplified by her precise Study of a Young Boy. These magnificent pieces will be offered as highlights of Sotheby’s Master Paintings Evening Sale. (30 January | New York)

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