Elaine Banks

Senior Specialist, Paintings & Drawings | Old Master Paintings European Art

Elaine Stainton completed her undergraduate work at Indiana University, then studied classical archaeology at the University of Maryland, where she received a master’s degree in this field in 1972. She worked in the department of Greek and Roman Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, before continuing her studies in archaeology at Princeton University. While at Princeton she studied both classical archaeology and Renaissance and Baroque art, eventually completing her doctoral work in Renaissance painting. She received her Ph.D. in Art and Archaeology in 1978, with a dissertation on the Venetian painter Jacopo Tintoretto.

In 1975, Elaine joined the faculty of the University of Delaware, where she taught art history and archaeology for four years before moving to New York in 1979 to work at the auction house of Sotheby Parke Bernet. Since that time she has lived in New York and has worked for several art firms, including Sotheby’s, Richard Feigen Gallery, P. & D. Colnaghi, and Doyle, where she was Director of the Paintings and Drawings Department from 1984-1993.

In 1993, she formed her own company, Stainton Associates, specializing in fine arts research and appraisal. In 1994 she was appointed senior editor at Harry N. Abrams, Inc., a publishing house known for its fine illustrated books, where she edited a number of distinguished art titles. The same year, she also began to teach art history and connoisseurship at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, where she remained on the faculty for twelve years.

In 2006 Elaine returned to Doyle as the Executive Director of the Paintings and Drawings Department. As such she is responsible for the appraisal and auction of important paintings and drawings in the fields of European old master paintings and drawings, European and American 19th century art, and European and American Modern and Contemporary art. She has appeared as an appraiser of paintings on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow and has also been featured as a speaker at a number of professional conferences in the fields of fine art connoisseurship and appraisal. 

Featured Story

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Two Views of Venus

Elaine Stainton discusses two images of the ancient goddess of love -- one embodying deeply-felt passion and tragic loss, the other motherly love, generosity and humor.
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The Father of Couture

Elaine Stainton profiles the legendary couturier Charles Frederick Worth, who dominated French dressmaking in the late 19th century, and examines an 1893 portrait to be offered on June 3.

Allegories from Antwerp

Elaine Stainton examines two fascinating allegorical paintings created in Antwerp during the 16th and 17th centuries to be offered in the June 3 auction.
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Elaine Stainton examines an early portrait in the October 31 Old Master Paintings auction by Eugène Delacroix, who is the subject of a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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The River Thames

Elaine Stainton examines three 18th century views of the Thames and discusses the influence that Venetian artist Canaletto's residency in London had on English depictions of the great river.
Jacques Stella

A Work by Jacques Stella: Master of Oil on Stone

Jacques Stella (1596-1657) became famous for his diminutive oil paintings executed on stone. Specialist Elaine Stainton profiles the French artist and his exquisite work that attracted the patronage of Cosimo de’ Medici, Pope Urban VIII and Louis XIII of France.
Paul Kleinschmidt, Paar in der Loge

German Expressionism & the “New Objectivity”

Taking root at the turn of the 20th century, German Expressionism rejected the traditional goal of depicting reality in favor of portraying deeper psychological complexities and political truths. Artists often utilized bold color, texture and abstraction to incite an emotional response from their viewers, thus tapping into the volatility that defined German society through the Weimar era. Director of Paintings Elaine Stainton provides insights into this influential philosophy and its leading artists.