Know Your Artist — By the Numbers: Sir Anthony van Dyck | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Know Your Artist — By the Numbers: Sir Anthony van Dyck

Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) was a celebrated Flemish Baroque painter of the 17th century. Van Dyck was a prolific painter of portraits, but he also painted many works on biblical and mythological themes. Van Dyck was also a fine draftsman and etcher as well.
Van Dyck is best known for his elegant representations of Charles I of England and his court.Van Dyck was born in Antwerp and was the seventh child of Frans van Dyck, a wealthy silk merchant. He started painting early on, and by 1609 he was studying with Hendrick van Balen. In 1615, Van Dyck became an independent painter.
Van Dyck was greatly influenced by the works of Peter Paul Rubens and Italian artists, like Titian and Paolo Veronese. The figural masterpieces in the early years of his career reflected Rubens’s melodramatic style, though, instead of using Rubens’s technique of enamel-like glazes, he painted directly and with a rather rough texture. The colors he used were darker and warmer than his mentor’s; his lights and shades were more abrupt and his figures were more angular in their gestures.
After achieving success in Italy and Southern Netherlands, Van Dyck became a prominent court painter in England, and his style became lighter and more luminous.

Next week, three auctions in London will feature Van Dyck’s creations: Sotheby’s Old Masters Evening Sale on July 4 will have two works; Christie’s Old Masters Evening Sale on July 5 will have one work and Old Masters Day Sale on July 6 will have six works.


Here is a performance analysis of Anthony van Dyck’s artworks in the auction market:

1. Sales Trend in the Past 20 Years
The artist achieved his best year in 2009 with sales totaling $20.2 million for 23 lots. That was the year when, Van Dyck’s self portrait made headlines; it sold for $13.6 million at Sotheby’s London, nearly three times the estimate ($3.2 million to $4.9 million) and breaking the previous auction record of $6 million (£3.06 million) for his painting “A Rearing Stallion,” which sold at Christie’s London in 2008.
Since 2010, there was a steep decrease in his sales, and in 2016 his sales totaled only $1.3 million with 27 lots, which was the lowest in the period between 2010 and 2017. In the same year 2016, none of his works were sold for over $ 1 million.


2. Volume of Artworks on Offer vs. Bought-in Rate
From 2013 and 2016, the bought-in went up from 34.6 percent to 48.1 percent in 2016, which was the highest, with 52 lots on offer at the auction for the artist where 24 remained unsold.
Some of his highest estimated works: “The Tribute Money” (high estimate $3 million) and “Portrait D'Anne Sophie, Comtesse de Carnarvon” (high estimate $1.34 million) were left unsold at Sotheby’s auction, which affected Van Dyck’s sales total in the year.
But in 2017, the bought-in rate went down to 31 percent on 42 lots.


3. Bought-ins by Auction Houses
The graphic below represents the artist’s lots and bought-in rates at the top two auction houses. In the past four years, the lots offered at Christie’s and Sotheby’s both were low as compared with the other auction houses. In the same period, overall, the bought-in rate was higher at Sotheby’s than at Christie’s.


4. Average and Median Sale Price Trend in the Past 20 Years
With 2009 being a record  year for the artist, the average sale price hit an all-time high of $879,053. Since 2010, both average and median price of the artist have shown a declining trend.
But in 2017, sales totaled $7 million, bolstered by the sale of his two notable works: “Saint Sebastian after His Ordeal,” which sold for $2.4 million at Christie’s London, and “Portrait of the Engraver Jean-Baptiste Barbe,” fetched $2.1 million at Sotheby’s London.


5. Highest-Priced Artworks
Van Dyck’s top 10 sold works were at Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
A “Self Portrait” was his top priced painting, having sold for $13.6 million at Sotheby’s Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale in London on December 9, 2009. The masterpiece was the last portrait of him, and it was painted in London in 1641 in the last months of his life. The work captures him grandly attired in a black and white slashed silk doublet.
“Two Studies of a Bearded Man” in which Van Dyck painted a man in bust-length from two slightly different positions:  one in three-quarter view looking down and the other full face, clear out at the viewer, fetched $7.3 million at Sotheby’s New York on January 28, 2010.
His third highest was “A rearing stallion”, oil-on-canvas work, which measures 43 inches by 45 inches, it sold for $6 million at Christie’s London on July 8, 2008.


6. Price Band in Which His Works Have Sold in the Past 20 Years
If we observe the stratification of sales volume by various price bands, two bands had nearly equal selling rates at around 13 percent: works that sold in the price range of $5,000 to $10,000 (at 13.4 percent) and $100,000 to $1 million (at 13 percent). Just 3.3 percent or 25 lots of his works have sold for over $1 million. 


7. Where His Works Have Sold the Most in the Past 20 Years
More than 92 percent of his total sales occurred at the top two auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s in the past 20 years. In terms of volume, 58.6 percent of the artist’s works were sold at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, while a significant 41.4 percent were sold at other auction houses.
From a geographical perspective, the United Kingdom leads with $65.2 million, followed by United States at $36.6 million and France, Germany and Austria accounting for the rest.


8. Total Sales to date in 2018
Since January, Sotheby’s led with total sales $3.5 million (inclusive of buyer’s premium); followed by Christie’s at $2.3 million.
On July 5, Christie’s will auction seven of his artworks where “The Cheeke Sisters: Essex, Countess of Manchester (d. 1658), and Anne, Lady Rich (d. circa 1655), three-quarter-length, in a landscape” is estimated at $2.6 million to - $5.3 million. These auction results may change the trend and the highest could from Christie’s.


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Top auction results for Sir Anthony Van Dyck