With Bosschaert the Elder, Dutch still lifes with flowers truly established their pedigree, as further proved by these cut flowers.
On 19 June, the bouquet of Fleurs coupées dans un römer posé sur un entablement sur fond de paysage became the top bid in the first half of year at Drouot, with €3,307,800. The little panel by the Flemish master of the genre, Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder (1573-1621), also captured a French record in its fragrant wake (source: Artnet). It beat the still life with roses sold at Sotheby's in London on 10 July 2002 for €2,907,780, also painted against a landscape, but this time framed by a Gothic window. While the corpus of works with a landscape background is very small, ones featuring an open sky are even rarer, as we learn from art historian Fred G. Meijer, a specialist in Dutch and Flemish still lifes. The reasons for the artist's bold framing are not clear, but it gives his bouquets the presence of a Madonna.
In the same sale, two oils on canvas by Giovanni Paolo Panini were sold together for €177,240. One featured an Apôtre en robe jaune prêchant devant une pyramide (An architectural capriccio with an apostle preaching); the other, a Sibylle vêtue de blanc prêchant près de l'arc de Titus (Sibyl in white preaching by the Arch of Titus). The sale thus reunited the pair, painted in 1752. Belonging to the vogue for "capriccios" at which the artist excelled, these two paintings harmoniously mingle imaginatively combined Roman ruins (like the Pyramid of Cestius and the colonnades of the Forum) with groups of figures in Antique costume. Also worth mentioning: Eugène Boudin's 1873 oil on canvas Pêcheuses de Kerhor (Fisherwomen at Kerhor), sold for €103,812, and a 1930s Cartier creation, which fetched €107,610. Around 12 cm high with a gross weight of 35.10 g, this platinum tie brooch with geometric decoration and an arrow-shaped clasp entirely set with antique-cut diamonds (the four largest being cushion-cut) illustrated the refined art of jewellery-making between the wars.