Carl Larsson's Holiday Reading depicts his son Esbjörn and his babysitter Karin, reading and drinking tea in the garden at the Larsson country home. This will be the first time that the piece will be sold at an international auction.

CARL LARSSON. HOLIDAY READING, 1916. Estimate $639,560 - $959,340. Photo via Sotheby's CARL LARSSON. HOLIDAY READING, 1916. Estimate $639,560 - $959,340. Photo via Sotheby's

The painting was recently brought to Sweden to be displayed and when it arrived in Stockholm, Barnebys Pontus Silfverstolpe met with Sotheby's Lord Mark Poltimore and Peder Isacson who shed some light on the important painting.

Can you tell us more about the beautiful Carl Larsson painting in the December 10 auction?

The painting comes from a Swedish collection abroad. Holiday Reading is a fantastic painting by one of our most prominent artists. It has never before been on the market but was sold to Fritzes Konsthandel the same year that it was painted. Thereafter it was sold privately in 1925 and has then been handed down within the family.

Peder Isacson. Head of Sotheby’s Scandinavia and Lord Mark Poltimore, Deputy Chairman Sotheby’s Europe together with the painting in Stockholm Peder Isacson. Head of Sotheby’s Scandinavia and Lord Mark Poltimore, Deputy Chairman Sotheby’s Europe together with the painting in Stockholm

What makes Carl Larsson's art so fascinating? 

His paintings are extraordinary considering the time period in which they were executed, and his watercolors still have a modern feel, according to Lord Poltimore.

What does the regrowth look like? 

There are several good international galleries with Swedish connections, such as Carl Kostyal and Per Skarstedt, that work with the most important exhibitions and the international market. They have several significant Swedish customers that are building new art collections. Gallery viewings are important for demand. When a gallery sells out an exhibit the artist becomes a hot ticket at auctiona s well. One example is Petra Cortright, who sold for high numbers in the fall's contemporary auction. Emanuel Röhss is another example of a very driven artist who has broken into the international market.

Sotheby's has had a strong year with a drove of sensational price records. How long do you think that the current art market will last?

The market always moves in cycles. There is always a question of supply and demand. If you want to buy a really great Picasso or Fontana you've got your work cut out for you. Thanks to the market becoming so global we believe that it will last for a while longer. During the record breaking Impressionist & Modern Art Auction in November we had fifty new buyers from fifty new countries. Investors see art as an even more interesting asset in the portfolios.

How many of today's bidders are art investors and how many are real art lovers?

The old group of collectors that bought at auction each month has disappeared. Today there are more investors and venture capitalists that buy art. It's all about trends, the flavor of the month, what's in and what's out.

China currently has a strong art market. What do the Chinese mainly look for? 

They mainly buy contemporary Chinese art and art by the most prominent the 20th century artists and impressionists, but we can also see that there is a growing interest for artists such as Canaleto and Goya and so forth.

You are also the Chairman for Sotheby's in Russia. Has the Russian market developed in the past few years?

Sanctions affect the market in part but the top lots are still the most expensive. The development has had a massive impact on the Russian market but it still has troubles with forgeries and copies, which is why you must be 100% sure when you bring in an art piece for sale. The provenance and exhibition history determine the entire deal.

The auction business has seen many changes lately, thanks to new players such as Barnebys but mainly due to new the behavior of a new generation of buyers. How does Sotheby's respond to this development?

The Internet is only getting larger and from now on determines everything, while at the same time we have seen an increase in live bidding. We can also see that social media is a very important tool for reaching and communicating with a younger target group on a global field. Sotheby's has also opened up new markets to meet demands. We aim to reach new buyers and a younger target group.

What is your most important market? 

The United States is undeniably the largest, but Europe is also important. As are Central America, Asia, Africa, Mexico, Brazil and India.

I understand that you travel a  great deal, but what does an average Sunday look like for you? 

I spend time with my family and take long walks with my dogs. I am also completely addicted to music and films!


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