Following the sale of David Bowie’s art collection in London on 10th November, a work by Tintoretto and his studio has been granted on long-term loan to the Rubens House in Antwerp.
The oil painting depicts an angel warning Saint Catherine of Alexandria of her martyrdom and was originally commissioned by members of the Scuola di Santa Caterina as an altarpiece for the Church of San Geminiano on the Piazza di San Marco in Venice. It was produced in the later 1570s, when Jacopo Tintoretto (1515-1594) was directing the busiest painter’s workshop in Venice.
The piece was acquired by Bowie in the 1980s, as his first art acquisition, remaining in his collection for more than thirty years as the only old master, and has been bought by a European collector in Sotheby's sale of Bowie’s art collection. Minutes after the auction, at which the painting sold for £191,000, the new owner declared his intention to place the work on long-term loan to the Rubens House, ‘a museum which Bowie loved’, acknowledging the profound influence of Tintoretto and Venetian art on Rubens, while also paying tribute to David Bowie's life-long passion for museums and generosity with loans.
The work will be on show in the Rubens House from spring 2017.