I bought it at Christie’s!

Interior designer Robert Kime describes how he came to acquire this magnificent tapestry — depicting a moment of triumph in the life of Alexander the Great — for just £7,500

‘I do love buying tapestries. They are so out of fashion, and I’m not sure why that is — perhaps because they are impractical for most people. Tapestries were by definition expensive items when they were made. At least a year’s work went into them. But now they are excellent value.

‘This one depicts a scene from the life of Alexander the Great. I am very keen on him, but I think he has slightly disappeared from our account of history. We have all forgotten about classical times: when did you last have a conversation about Alexander? Yet every tapestry-maker was interested in him because he is an example of supreme success.

In the end I paid £7,500. When you think what it is, and the condition it’s in, that’s very cheap

‘And visually his life has everything: battles, drums and trumpets, armies and armour. I have no idea what event in Alexander’s life is portrayed here, perhaps nothing specific at all. But it is in effect a snapshot of a military campaign, like a war photograph. Clearly a formal surrender is taking place. There is Alexander, centre right, accepting the deeds to the captured city behind. The darker-skinned figures in blue helmets are the defeated enemy; the mounted men in their plumed headgear are Alexander’s lieutenants.

‘I always look at auction catalogues, but I never attend in person. I get other people to do it for me, because I know I would buy too much. I would be scooping up all sorts of things I don’t need — actually, I do that anyway. The lower estimate for this one was £5,000, and in the end I paid £7,500. When you think what it is, and the condition it’s in, that’s very cheap. You can’t buy a good picture or a drawing for that, certainly nothing big.

‘I like the iconography of the piece. The border is quite modest; sometimes that’s the most ornate part. All the soldiers’ feet are well rendered, the horses’ hooves too. And the dapple on the rump of the foremost horse is lovely. The brown horse on the right is throwing a very knowing glance. They are always in the know, the horses.’

Content from: Christie’s

Christie’s New Los Angeles Art Space and Opening Exhibit

From April 20 to 28, Christie’s will open the doors of its new West Coast arts space with a special exhibition of more than 60 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and works on paper, as well as a selection of jewels, watches and private sale items. The exhibition was curated from the auction house’s signature May sales of Impressionist, Modern, Post-War, Contemporary and Latin American art, which take place in New York, and was designed to create an engaging visual dialogue between the major artists of each era, from Europe to the Americas.

This event will mark the premier exhibition of this new space for our parent company. To design this new multi-functional flagship location in Beverly Hills, Christie’s engaged wHY, the interdisciplinary design team known for collaborating with important Los Angeles clients such as the Marciano Art Foundation, CalArts and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as top artists and collectors.

Creative Director of wHY highlights that his firm has one language, which is essential design — tight and timeless with a focus on the essences of architecture in terms of space, light, proportion and tectonics.

Speaking to the significance of the opening, Sonya Roth, Managing Director, Christie’s LA: “This is Christie’s moment to shine in LA and we are delighted to have assembled such a stellar exhibition of fine art, jewelry, watches and private sale items to celebrate our grand opening in Beverly Hills. Our goal over these next few weeks is to welcome in both new and established collectors to acquaint themselves with all that Christie’s has to offer the LA community — whether it is expertise, education, or simply engagement with the beautiful objects Christie’s has been entrusted with. This first exhibition is just the start of a dynamic program to come, and we look forward to officially embarking on this exciting next chapter in the growth of Christie’s on the West Coast.

Among the highlights of the exhibition are masterpieces by the titans of 20th century art, including Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer (1962), the first triptych Francis Bacon painted of his great muse (estimate on request – exceeding $50 million); Leda and the Swan (1962) by Cy Twombly ($35-55 million), a celebrated tour-de-force by the artist that is emerging from a private collection after nearly 30 years unseen by the public (estimate $35-55 million); andFemme assise dans un fauteuil (1917-1920) by Pablo Picasso, a Cubist portrait of the artist’s first wife, the Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova (estimate $20-30 million). The Grand Opening exhibition at Christie’s LA marks the first time these three museum-quality masterpieces will be exhibited together publicly in the U.S.

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