- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
- Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds
- Expert: Obamacare ‘death spiral’ fears exaggerated
- Alabama firefighters dig for survivors of apartment blast
Liz Taylor-owned Dutch master coming to NY auction
NEW YORK (AP) - A 17th century portrait that once hung over the fireplace of Elizabeth Taylor's Bel Air home _ and only recently reattributed to the Dutch master Frans Hals _ is expected to fetch up to $1 million at auction.
"Portrait of a Man," painted in the early 1630s, is being offered at Christie's sale of Old Masters on Wednesday.
A Hals scholar, Seymour Slive, had listed the painting as a "doubtful" Hals in a 1974 catalog, based on a black and white photo of the work.
After Taylor hung it in her home in the 1950s, "It academically fell off the radar," said Nicholas Hall, head of Christie's Old Master paintings.
But last summer, Christie's and Pieter Biesboer, the retired curator of Old Master paintings at the Frans Hals Museum in Holland, confirmed the work was by Hals.
"From 20 yards away one could tell that it was an utterly authentic Hals, a totally characteristic picture with all the bravura, brushwork ... the very expressive face," Hall said in telephone interview.
"On top of everything, there's a signature _ `FH' just to the right of the figure itself," he added.
Biesboer "absolutely had no hesitation in attributing it to Hals," Hall said.
Before its renewed reattribution, the painting had been estimated to sell for $70,000 to $100,000 on Wednesday. Its current estimate is $700,000 to $1 million.
The painting, showing a gentleman in a black coat and white collar with his hands folded, came into Taylor's possession in the 1950s, soon after her art dealer father, Francis Taylor, acquired and gave it to her.
She hung it over the fireplace in the living room of her California home, near an iconic lithograph portrait of herself by Andy Warhol that sold at Christie's in December for $662,500.
"Portrait of a Man" was the only Old Master she owned, said Hall.
She was very fond of it. In 1956, while recuperating from back surgery at New York Presbyterian Medical Center, she had her hospital room decorated with "Portrait of a Man" and several other paintings, including a Renoir and Monet.
"She really digs the Frans Hals," her husband, Mike Todd, told reporters at the time.
Other paintings from Taylor's collection will be sold by Christie's in London on Feb. 7-8.
In December, the auction house sold her collection of jewelry, fashion and memorabilia. Among the highlights was a pearl necklace that sold for $11.8 million.
The screen and stage icon died in March at age 79.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- White House is obstructing probe on Navy Yard shooter, NSA leaker, Darrell Issa says
- We told you so: Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling
- Colorado revolt: 55 of 62 sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws
- Senators in rush to pass budget vow to undo cut to military retirement pay
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow