Those who are not conversant in works of art are often surprised at the high value set by connoisseurs on drawings which appear careless, and in every respect unfinished; but they are truly valuable... they give the idea of a whole.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.
- Anais Nin


Friday, April 23, 2010

More goodies from Sotheby’s

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:19 am

Eugéne Boudin, Joaquin Sorolla Y Bastida, Claude Monet, Gustav Courbet
For those who are frustrated by the seeming shortage of high-resolution images of great paintings on the web, and are tired of navigating little zoom windows to try to get a glimpse of brushwork or paint surface, one resource for full screen high-resolution images of artwork is the auction catalog preview feature on the Sotheby’s auction site, as I mentioned in my previous post about Sotheby’s.

This is an ever changing resource; you have to be patient and continue to watch for new auctions as time goes on if you want to catch the kind of images you want to see.

There are two current auctions at Sotheby’s that I find of particular interest. The online catalogs contain some beautiful museum-quality gems for which the auction house has provided high-resolution images.

One is an auction of 19th Century European Art that includes works by Giovanni Boldini, Gustav Courbet, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Joaquin Sorolla, and such well known paintings as Bouguereau’s L’Amour et Psyché.

The other is an auction of Impressionist and Modern Art, which is divided into an Evening Sale and a Day Sale. There, amid a plethora of Picassos, you will find gems by Eugéne Boudin, Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet and Henri Le Sidaner.

Yes, these are still zooming images, but you are zooming within a the full resolution of your screen instead of a little box. Many of the images are high resolution enough that they rival what you could take with your own camera standing in front of the original (not quite as high resolution, but better in terms of lighting). Some of them are a bit pixelated or soft at highest resolution, but still well worthwhile because of the level of detail.

Once in an online catalog, you can browse by thumbnails in a grid or list view, or simply page through each image individually with forward and back arrows. Zoom in to your hearts content and pan around the larger than full screen images.

These listings will be gone before long, but the site bears watching for the next group of museum level paintings changing hands among the hyper-rich.

(Images above, with accompanying full resolution details: Eugéne Boudin, Joaquin Sorolla Y Bastida, Claude Monet, Gustav Courbet)

[Addendum: Great new E-Catalogue added for exhibition of 19th Century European paintings, with Orientalist painters, Spanish painters, including Sorolla, and Scandinavian painters, including Frits Thaulow and Peder Monstead! Great stuff]

4 comments for More goodies from Sotheby’s »

RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Comment by Phillip
    Friday, April 23, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    I’m pretty sure both Sotherby’s and Christie’s offer an email auction notification service. I collect their catalogues which I find very useful.

  2. Comment by Dave Dubé
    Friday, April 23, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

    Great resource! I caught on when I read the first post.

  3. Comment by Valentino
    Friday, April 23, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

    Yes, they offer email auction notification.

    Pity, however, that Christie’s does not feature zooming within a the full resolution of one’s screen.
    I habitually piece together screen shots of zoomed in images (in an image editing software), blow them additionally up 20% (I found it safe – artifacts start to appear over that percentage), then apply a bit of sharpening using a nifty plug-in and enjoy in hi res images of my heroes.

  4. Comment by Heather
    Sunday, April 25, 2010 @ 5:15 pm

    Wooo! Great post, and great resource. I’ve now added Sotheby’s to my bookmarks. Very handy tip!

Leave a comment


(required but not published)

Display Ads on Lines and Colors (1st tier): $25/week or $75/month.

Please note that display ads for lines and colors are limited to arts related topics and may not be animated.
Display Ads on Lines and Colors (2nd tier): $20/week or $65/month.

Please note that display ads for lines and colors are limited to arts related topics and may not be animated.

Donate Life

The Gift of a Lifetime
Donate Life