The Josefowitz Collection

  • Event date October – December 2023
  • Event location London & Paris
Christie’s is honoured to present The Sam Josefowitz Collection, a series of global auctions showcasing one collector’s lifelong passion and scholarly dedication to capturing a panorama of human achievement — from antiquities to post-Impressionist works.

Following the successes of our October auctions in London and Paris, we look ahead to the next sale in the Sam Josefowitz Collection series, Graphic Masterpieces by Rembrandt van Rijn, to be held as a live sale on the evening of 7 December. Highlights include a striking self-portrait of the artist, a rare still-life of a shell — Conus Marmoreus — and a serene depiction of St Jerome in an Italian landscape. Additional works, which include the biblical depictions of Christ presented to the People (‘Ecce Homo’) and Christ crucified between two Thieves: ‘The Three Crosses’ will feature in Old Masters Part I, also on 7 December. Explore the collection in our pre-sale exhibitions in London as we pay tribute to this remarkable collector’s legacy and to one of the greatest painter-printmakers in the history of European art. Entry is free and open to all.
Sam Josefowitz

About Sam Josefowitz

Sam Josefowitz

Sam Josefowitz was one of the most revered collectors of our time. His vast-ranging collection of discoveries spanning antiquities to post-Impressionist works is defined by a passionate and scholarly approach. Whether entrepreneurial, cultural, academic or personal, Sam Josefowitz’s innate and boundless curiosity was the thread which connected his ventures. For more than 50 years, Josefowitz, who was captivated by the history of humanity, assembled an astonishing array of works of art: from the time of the ancient Romans and Assyrians to the advent of modern printing technologies; from the precision of Rembrandt to the innovation of Gauguin. A scholar and an explorer, Josefowitz was drawn to artists who, too, saw the world as a marvel.

Sam Josefowitz purchased his first painting in 1947, and since then, embarked on a lifelong journey of discovery. In 1949 after visiting an exhibition on Eugène Carrière in Paris, Josefowitz decided to devote his energies to learning all about post-Impressionism. In 1956, Josefowitz first visited Pont-Aven, the small town in Brittany where these artists had worked — a moment that would define his collecting ethos. As his imagination was captured by the works of Pont-Aven artists, Josefowitz’s collection grew and developed a key focus in this artistic movement. On a flight from Paris to Geneva, where Josefowitz met engravings dealer Ira Gale, his interest in Rembrandt engravings began. Scholarship and conversation were to be the throughlines of Josefowitz’s collection and life: he was, above all, a man captivated by stories.


Sam Josefowitz

The life, travels and collecting journey of Sam Josefowitz: ‘When something seems to you to be a masterpiece, dive in’

After making his fortune through one of North America’s biggest record clubs, Sam Josefowitz pursued his passion for art in earnest, bringing the Pont-Aven painters into the spotlight and building the world’s most important private collection of Rembrandt prints

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-1669), The Shell (Conus Marmoreus), 1650 (detail).

How Sam Josefowitz assembled the finest collection of Rembrandt prints in private hands

Among more than 270 prints acquired by the collector are magnificent examples of the artist’s rarest and most famous works, ranging from Self-Portrait leaning on a Stone Sill to The Three Trees, The Shell and Christ crucified between the two Thieves

Pension Gloanec in Pont-Aven. Paul Gauguin sitting on the curb in the first row, second from left. The artist stayed at the inn several times between 1886 and 1894. Photo: Roger-Viollet / TopFoto

Paul Gauguin, the Pont-Aven School and the power of ‘wild and primitive’ Brittany

How a time-worn village on France’s northwest coast inspired a group of artists to throw off ‘the shackles of verisimilitude’ — and change the course of Western art. Illustrated with works offered from the Sam Josefowitz Collection

Diego (centre) with Alberto and his wife Annette Giacometti

Brothers by design: Diego and Alberto Giacometti

Alberto and Diego were devoted to one another, yet also very different: artist and artisan, intellectual and everyman. And despite being strongly influenced and often overshadowed by his elder brother, Diego found his own means of expression in the brilliantly imaginative bronze furniture for which he became famous. Illustrated with lots offered at Christie’s

A detail of Félix Vallotton’s Cinq heures, 1898,

Félix Vallotton: playwright, novelist, art critic, printmaker and ‘painter of disquiet’

The Swiss-born artist was a singular figure who made art in his own distinctive way — to compelling effect. Two ingenious landscapes and one of his celebrated ‘Intérieurs avec figures’ are offered in London from the Sam Josefowitz Collection

Gustave Caillebotte

10 things to know about Gustave Caillebotte

Once overshadowed by his peers, the Parisian painter is now rightly recognised as a key figure in the Impressionist movement — both as an artist and supporter of his contemporaries. Influenced by the emerging medium of photography, Caillebotte’s work chronicles Haussman’s great urban transformation of the city


Recollections of a Collector by Sam Josefowitz

The Sam Josefowitz Collection

An introduction to Caillebotte’s oeuvre and life by Stephanie Chardeau-Botteri

The Sam Josefowitz Collection

Sam Josefowitz: A collector of passion, discernment, breadth, and depth by MaryAnne Stevens

The Sam Josefowitz Collection

An introduction to Kees van Dongen’s oeuvre by Anita Hopmans

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Main images: © Kees van Dongen, DACS 2023. © Diego Giacometti, DACS 2023.