While exhibits and special gallery shows frequently give art aficionados the exciting chance to stand before highly celebrated paintings, the kind of works that pass through a town before venturing onto the next place, seeing superstar works ahead of an auction is a wholly different sort of treat.
Consider that once a piece is sold, and the gavel drop seals the highest bid, the masterpiece may go into a private collection, meaning that seeing it again, in person, may never come to pass for an art lover.
It's a rare, admire-it-now kind of thrill, then, to spy great art ahead of auction, and it's a thrill one that's on in Century City through Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the Sotheby's LA gallery. A preview of the Master Paintings Evening Sale, set for New York City at the start of 2017, is currently open and free to the public, giving those who adore centuries-old works a chance to stand before such treasures in person.
What to do, where to go and what to see
"Flora" by Willem Drost is included in the on-view collection, as is Jean-Honoré Fragonard's "The Fountain of Love" and a Madonna and Child painting by Sandro Botticelli and workshop.
The pieces all have different expected price points, with "The Fountain of Love" given a $1,500,000-$2,500,000 range.
You don't have to be the person who ultimately raises the bidder card on that artwork to enjoy it now, in LA, before it journeys east this winter. See it, for free, in Century City, alongside several other painterly, bucolic, iconography-filled gems.
Consider this your art-laden sweep through Europe, an impromptu trip to the Continent. No need to head for LAX, though; you only need to get to Century City, and Sotheby's, to experience exquisite art from long ago.
Sotheby's Los Angeles is located at 2029 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA 90067.
Pictured: detail, Hubert Robert Paris 1733 - 1808 A woman fishing and other figures by Roman ruins; Women drawing water from a basin while a man contemplates a classical statue the first signed and dated lower center.