Cherry Condition

Madonna of the Cherries, sold in 2015 as “Studio of Quentin Metsys”, even with a very tasty French royal-inflected provenance, for just GBP 254,500

It’s wild that after cleaning and removing some clunky additions, this painting turned out to be not one of a dozen copies of Quentin Metsys’ Madonna of the Cherries, one of the most celebrated paintings of 16th century Antwerp, but the long-lost original.

Quentin Metsys, The Madonna of the Cherries, oil on panel, 29 5/8 x 24 3/4 in., selling 2 July 2024 at Christie’s London

Whoever bought it for GBP250,000 in 2015 even did dendrochronological analysis of the boards of the panel it was painted on, and found it was from the same tree as a painting in the Rijksmuseum.

Anyway, now you can buy the painting Archduke Albert II of Austria couldn’t. It’s back at Christie’s for an est. GBP 8-12 million.

[update: the Getty bought it for GBP 10.6m. Maybe one of their curators should have been talking to their conservators about it in 2015.]

2015: “Studio of Quentin Metsys” [christies]
2024: Quentin Metsys himself, baby [christies]