The late Mr. Woodburn was well known as a collector of paintings, and often employed in that capacity, both by English noblemen and gentlemen, and by the government. His collection of pictures, including works of the Italian, Flemish, Dutch, and German schools, was recently put up for sale by public auction. As might be expected from the position he occupied, many of them are productions of a high order, and the large sums for which they were sold showed the estimation in which they are held by connoisseurs. Of the Italian school, three were described as Rafiaelles, several as specimens of Leonardo da Vinci, and one as the work of Buonarotti. Doubts have been expressed as to the authenticity of some of these, particularly that of ” Christ bearing a Cross,” by Da Vinci, and the ” Saint John,” by Rafiaelle.
These doubts are founded partly on the anatomical modelling of the figures, and partly on the elaborate foldings of the drapery. That they were pretty generally entertained, is proved by the prices at which these pictures were knocked down. The total pro ceeds of the sale were ?7,500. Among the paintings which sold best were the following :?” The Madonna of the Im maculate Conception,” which was painted by Murillo for the Royal Family of Spain, and once belonged to the Infante Don Gabriel, was purchased by Mr. Farrar for 1,000 guineas. It is described in the catalogue as ” the finest in England.” Mr. Uwins bought ” The Adoration of the Virgin,” by Giorgione, for 500 guineas, in the name of the government. This picture represents the Virgin sitting with the infant Jesus, St. Joseph oy her side, and a Venetian general in armour kneeling before her. while his horse is held by a page. A convent is seen in the.distance.
The composition of the picture is strange, but the colouring is very rich and the treatment majestic, espe cially that of the Holy Mother, whose attitude and features display great spirituality. ” The Magdalen,” by Titian, fetched 210 guineas. ” A Spacious Landscape, with a Village on a River and Figures,” painted by Wouvermans, and bear ing date 1699, formerly in the Duchess de Berri’s gallery realised 405 guineas. ” The Virgin Weeping over the Body of Christ,” by Guercino, produced 250 guineas; “The Holy Family,” by Vaga, 370 guineas; “The Marriage of Saint Catherine,” by Poussin, 175 guineas ; ” The Virgin and Saint Joseph kneeling over the infant Jesus,” by Perugino, 153 guineas ; ” The Tribute Money,” a composition of twelve figures, by Rembrandt, engraved by M’Ardell, 380 guineas ; “The Virgin,” by Raffaeilini, 145 guineas ; ” Saint John, in a Landscape, Preaching,” by Raffaelle, 135 guineas. Other lots were?” Bacchus and Ariadne on the Shore of the Island of Naxos, with Nymphs and Satyrs,” by Guido, for 145 guineas; “The Virgin,” by Hemling, for 121 guineas ; two paintings of rural scenes, by Cuyp, for 115 guineas each; “A Landscape,” by Wouvermans, for 18-1 guineas; “An Italian Landscape,” by Wilson, for 150 guineas; “A Classical Land scape,” by Claude, for 101 guineas ; “A Frozen River, with a Village,” by Van der Neer, for 100 guineas ; “An Interior,” by Terburg, for 93 guineas ; and ” The Duke of Urbino receiving the Order of the Garter,” by Francesca, for 80 guineas. This last was purchased by Colonel Phipps.