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Claude Lorrain
A Study for a Seaport (recto)
ca. 1640
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
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by Paul Jeromack

It doesn’t matter if one collects Faberge or Fiestaware -- while it’s nice to buy one piece, buying in bulk is better. Until recently, it was still possible to buy Old Master drawings that way: Witness the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s romp through the 1972 sale at Sotheby’s of the Ellesmere Collection of drawings by the Carracci, and the J. Paul Getty Trust vacuuming up the majority of the drawings sold at Christie’s in 1984 by the Duke of Devonshire to maintain Chatsworth, his 17th-century mansion in Devon. More recently, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art cherry-picked five of the most beautiful Italian drawings from the sale of the Jeffrey E. Horvitz collection of Italian drawings at Sotheby’s in January 2008 [see "January Old Masters 2008," Jan. 31, 2008].