London has some of the best museums in the world.
It equally attracts a lot of tourists that
visit solely on this attraction alone.
It gets so crowded with tour and school groups side by side with regular visitors and locals trying to enjoy the art.
So a local and insider tip to any Londoners and tourists
out there is to go and visit the leading auction houses such as Sotheby's and Christie's.
Sotheby's is having an Impressionist and Modern Art Sale on the 23rd of June.
Before any auction held, the items to go under the hammer are displayed for at least a few days before the day of the sale.
|Renoir's artistic version of "Look but don't touch."|
Several times a year there are world class and museum pieces that go on sale.
These works of art rarely come up for sale so they group them in one or two sales a year.
This is an iconic piece from Monet that would not be out of place at any Parisian Museum or the National Gallery.
But at an estimated price of £20 - 30 million pounds
(not necessarily the same as the price it will be sold at),
the sad truth is that this painting will not be able to be viewed again for most of us.
The buyers are usually billionaires who purchase for private residential viewing or as part of a special investment. Or it might be sold to a private hedge fund who displays it in a board room which is also difficult to access for the general public.
Who would you guess sketched this below?
It was by Monet.
I was a bit surprised when I went up close to see who it was by.
But this sort of "unfinished" piece or
less dramatic pieces don't get shown in most museums.
The reason is because a lot of museums just don't have the space so they have to make decisions to give the public the best curated art which means this level of art is stored in vaults below.
I know that £50 - 70k is a lot of money but for most museums this wouldn't make the cut for a general exhibition so I appreciate having the opportunity to see other works by Monet other than what he has become "branded" for.
Even Sotheby's knows the power of styling.
They put lovely flowers next to one of Chagall's painting.
Interestingly enough, a lot of serious collectors apparently avoid purchasing Chagall as there was a huge scandal of fake and
forged Marc Chagall paintings.
Another reason I love attending the auction previews is that ultimately it is a sale so the paintings are well lit and seem to be perfect to hang in your house!
I was torn between the Leger above and the Picasso below.
Nothing too dramatic but it is very livable art.
This Sisley may not rank very high among art critics but I would be delighted to have this in my study.
Standards seem to change for displaying in an exhibit
versus the home.
Mr CSW was attracted to this painting by Chagall but I protested.
But he also disagreed with my choice of this Vuillard below.
This argument was purely theoretical at the going prices.
Another benefit for viewing art at auction houses is that there are trained and educated staff who will answer any questions.
As they are meant to stand there in certain shifts, speaking to prospective clients is a way for them to pass time and they are more than happy to share their knowledge.
But the main advantage is the quiet!
It is considered crowded if their is one other person in your
section of the room.
Yes there are invite only preview cocktail parties but for the most part it is open to the general public.
There is no need to be intimidated to enter.
You don't feel rushed and can just go back and forth to whichever piece catches your eye.
I thought I might be witness to an art heist when I noticed a blank wall but it was just temporarily taken away for further inspection.
But it was quite artsy in itself.
This might be the type of painting
I can hang from this auction in my house!