Sotheby’s has recently joined the very long-running dispute about a Leonardo da Vinci painting which has pitted a Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev against that of a Swiss businessman who owns and operates the largest art storage facilities throughout the entire world.
This auction house has recently fired a highly preemptive shot with an added request to a federal judge for an order to work towards the clearing it of any potential wrongdoing regarding the private sale of a Christ as Salvator Mundi to Yves Bouvier.
This rather international battle is being closely watched by active participants of the art market. This Russian fertilizer billionaire has been accused by the freeport mogul of over-charging him $500 million to $1 billion over the course of about a decade for works created by da Vinci, Mark Rothko, as well as Pablo Picasso. Rybolovlev has sued Bouvier in Monaco as well as Singapore, claiming that he was definitely the victim of fraud.
Sotheby’s really had nothing to do with the very private deal that Bouvier struck with Rybolovlev and it did not make any actual profit or money on the sale, the auction house indicated within the court filing.
Parish has quite apparently purchased the painting for about $10,000 in an estate sale in Louisiana back in the early 2000s, Sotheby’s stated in the filing. It was believed this work was actually a copy of a da Vinci, but Sotheby’s indicated in the filing that it later helped in the actual authentication of the painting and that it was really done by the master around the time of 1500.
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Sothebys has now been forced to admit that they are in the middle of a multimillion-dollar scandal, involving what may be tens of millions of dollars worth of bogus Old Master paintings.”>
Just as Regents Park was certainly populating with many hundreds of galleries, thousands and thousands of artists, as well as tens of thousands of both amateur and professional buyers, Sothebys, one of the two larger and older firms of the global art world. It is a vital presence at Frieze and has now been forced into an embarrassing admission that it is in the middle of a multimillion-pound forgery scandal, involving what may be tens of millions of dollars worth of fake Old Master paintings.
Specifically, a painting authenticated by Sothebys as the work of Dutch artist Frans Hals and sold on that basis for almost $10 million has now been reassessed by the auction house and declared a fake.
Sothebys released a statement saying that a new technical analysis had revealed that the work was a forgery. The sale which was then reversed and the client believed to be an American collector based in Seattle was reimbursed, Sothebys said.
The gallery was tricked. Even worse, however, is now the authenticity of up to $200 million-worth of other Old Masters which appeared across European galleries from the same sources little known French collectors under uncertainty.
The analysis was then carried out in the wake of a very controversial police sting in March this year, when a 1531 work, Venus With A Veil, collected by the Prince of Liechtenstein, and was seized by French police officers from a public gallery.
French law actually allows for the very seizure of works that are suspected to be forgeries for investigation without judgment, but the prince, one of the most important collectors in the entire world, was quite furious at the public way the picture was grabbed.
The final results of this analysis haven’t been made public. However, it is now believed in the art world that the picture has been found to be a fake.
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