Botticellis’ masterpiece from the 1470s is predicted to promote for $ 80 million in New York
A portrait of Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli is expected to sell for more than $ 80 million when it goes up for auction at Sotheby’s in New York on Thursday.
“Young Man Holding a Roundel,” believed to have been painted in the 1470s or 1480s, is considered to be one of Botticelli’s finest portraits and is the high point of Sotheby’s Masters Week sales.
“This Botticelli is far more spectacular than anything we’ve put on the market in any way,” said Christopher Apostle, Sotheby’s senior vice president, to AFP.
The 58 x 39 cm (23 x 15.5 in) painting shows a man in his late teens with long golden hair holding a disc with a bearded saint in his hand.
The roundel, which depicts the saint with a raised right hand, is an original work of art from the 14th century attributed to the Sienese painter Bartolommeo Bulgarini.
Art historians suspect that the Botticelli represent a nobleman who proudly displays the earlier work of art.
“This picture symbolizes and illustrates the Renaissance in Florence. We have never seen anything like it in my life,” said the apostle, describing it as a “masterpiece”.
The portrait was passed down by several generations of a noble family in Wales for around 200 years.
Art historians were unaware of the painting’s existence until it hit the market in the early 20th century.
“Portrait of a Young Man with a Roundel” has been on public display many times over the past 40 years, since its current owner bought it in 1982 for just £ 810,000 ($ 1.1 million in 2021 installments).
It was published in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery in London, and elsewhere.
Sotheby’s says a sale of over $ 80 million would establish the work as one of the most significant portraits ever to be sold at auction.
The previous record for a Botticelli was set in 2013 when “Madonna and Child with Young Saint John the Baptist” sold for $ 10.4 million.
– Rembrandt –
The sale would stand alongside Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II,” which sold for $ 87.9 million in 2006, and Vincent Van Gogh’s “Portrait of Dr. Gachet,” which grossed $ 82.5 million in 1990.
The auction house says “Young Man with a Roundel” is as significant as Botticelli’s “Portrait of a Man with a Medal from Cosimo the Elder” and “Portrait of Giuliano de ‘Medici”.
Botticelli, who lived from the 1440s to 1510, is one of the most famous painters of the early Renaissance, but only about a dozen examples of his work survive today.
His most famous works are “The Birth of Venus” and “Primavera”.
“I think we are underestimating how groundbreaking he was,” said the apostle.
The Sotheby’s sale, which is virtual and begins at 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), also sells one of Rembrandt’s 136 Biblical paintings.
The Dutch painter “Abraham and the Angels” is expected to cost between $ 20 million and $ 30 million.
It has been in private collections for 150 years and was last auctioned for only $ 64 in 1848.
The auction record for a Rembrandt is $ 33.2 million, which was spent in 2009 on “Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo”.
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This story was published by a wire agency feed with no changes to the text. Only the heading was changed.