Master to Master: The Nelson Shanks Collection

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Master to Master: The Nelson Shanks Collection

Published on January 31, 2022

Sotheby’s recently presented the collection of Nelson Shanks, ARC Master, head of Studio Incamminati and portraitist to international leaders and celebrities. In addition to his own work, Shanks was renowned for his collection of Old Master paintings, sculpture, drawings, furniture, and decorative arts, all of which were offered in this exceptional sale. Highlights from the sale include a monumental masterpiece by Neapolitan artist Mattia Preti, with provenance dating back to its commission, a rare mature work by Guido Cagnacci, and a magnificent Venus by Dosso Dossi, which was thought to be lost until Shanks recognized it and acquired it.

Also being auctioned were Shanks's head studies for four commissioned portraits of Princess Diana, Luciano Pavarotti, Renée Fleming, and Presidents Reagan and Clinton. Shanks was beloved for his ability to capture the inner mood and personality of his sitters, whom he painted from life over many sittings, following painterly tradition dating back to the Renaissance.

The collection took place on January 27, 2022 at Sotheby's New York, and is still available to view on the Sotheby's website.

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