Adrien de Vries, Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe. Sold for $27.9 million, the sculpture will be on display at the Netherlands Rijksmuseum. Image courtesy of Christie’s
NEW YORK, NY — The magnificent Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe by Adrien de Vries has been bought by Rijksmuseum- the museum of the Netherlands for $27.9 Million. It was bought during Christie’s inaugural New York Exceptional Sale with the support of the Rembrandt Society, the BankGiro Loterij, VSB fund, Mondriaan fund and private donors. The celebrated Mannerist sculpture which was a major attraction when it was put on display at Christie’s Rockefeller Center saleroom in New York was the subject of an intense bidding. In a tense three-way phone bidding battle that lasted four minutes, the widely recognized masterpiece by the 17th century artist known as the “Dutch Michaelangelo”, was won by the Rijksmuseum. The final price with premium was $27,885,000 (£17,743,735/ €22,503,724).
The sale of the Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe marks a new world auction record for any work by de Vries. Excited by the sale and the fact the work of this famous artist will now go on display at the Rijksmuseum, Taco Dibbits, Director of Collections for the Rijksmuseum was elated. “We are thrilled to have acquired this exceptional work of art by the Dutch Michelangelo, Adriaen de Vries. Until today there was no sculpture by him in the Netherlands,” he remarked following the purchase of the masterpiece by Rijksmuseum.
Dibbits is not the only one excited by this masterpiece by the sale of the famous artist. Christie’s Jussi Pylkkanen, Global President of Christie’s and the auctioneer for the sale noted that the de Vries is an excellent masterpiece deserving exceptional auction price. “The de Vries is a truly magnificent and rare bronze and it deserved to make an exceptional price. It follows the trend of masterpieces achieving outstanding prices at Christie’s throughout 2014” he said, adding that “This masterpiece by Adriaen de Vries is one of the most important sculptures of the Mannerist period and its reappearance on the marketplace made for a hugely significant event. We could not be more proud to have had the opportunity to shepherd this work into a collection as important and remarkable as that of the Rijksmuseum”.
The record price made by the Vries’ Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe is an opportunity for chest-thumping at Christie’s. The auction house notes that “the excellent results of the Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe reassert the continuing momentum of the masterpiece market, which has gone from strength to strength throughout the course of 2014 at Christie’s”.
Christie’s is also trilled that the sale of de Vries’ Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe marks the second time this fall auction season that the auction house has sold a major masterpiece to a public institution. The first was in November when Christie’s sold Edouard Manet’s Le Printemps to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where the Impressionist masterpiece was unveiled to the public just before the holiday season. The last time that a major work by de Vries appeared on the auction market was on December 7, 1989, when The Dancing Fawn, was sold for £6.8 million, the previous auction record for the artist.