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Home / Entertainment / Portrait of Botticelli may be sold at auction for more than $80 million

Portrait of Botticelli may be sold at auction for more than $80 million



Author CNN Lily Smith

Contributor Oscar Holland of CNN

A 15th-century painting by Sandro Botticelli, an early Renaissance painter, is expected to sell for more than $80 million next year.

According to Sotheby’s Auction House, it is believed that “a young man holding a ball pen” was created in the late 1470s or early 1480s and was one of the last private portraits of an Italian artist. The upcoming Master Week auction.

This painting was purchased by the current owner in 1982 for £810,000 (equivalent to today’s value of slightly more than US$1

million). It depicts an unidentified young man holding a small circular painting called Round paper. In the past 50 years, it has been loaned to many major museums, including the National Gallery in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Sandro Botticelli

It is expected that Sandro Botticelli’s “Young Man Holding a Roundel” (Young Man Holding a Roundel) will be auctioned in January 2021 for more than US$80 million. credit: Sotheby’s

Although the auctioneer’s official estimate expects the auction price to be “over 80 million US dollars,” Christopher Apostle, the head of the painting department at Sotheby’s Old Masters, said in an email, “It’s likely to be the next one. Paintings that exceed the designated 100 million US dollar threshold.” In this way, “young man holding a ball pen” will become a “haystack” from Claude Monet (last year at Sotheby’s in New York, it sold more than 110 million The price in U.S. dollars) since the first nine-figure high-priced painting sold at auction.

Apostle said: “This painting is not only the greatest Botticelli in private hands, but it should also be considered one of the best Renaissance paintings privately owned. He added: “There may not be a chance to get such an important and beautiful Renaissance. Period paintings. For many years, if any. “

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“Typical Renaissance Man”

Botticelli is known for his masterpieces “The Birth of Venus” and “Primavera”. He has been praised throughout his life and is considered a key figure in the Western art tradition. According to Sotheby’s, only a dozen of his portraits have survived, and almost all of them are now in museum collections.

Apostle said: “It has a very modern feel, thanks in large part to its amazing conditions and environment, and it portrays a typical Renaissance person.”

What is different is that Botticelli included another artist’s work in the portrait. In fact, the small circular painting that his subject holds is a small painting from the 14th century, thanks to the Sienese painter Bartolomeo Bulgarini, who integrated it into the panel.

In 2016, “The Birth of Venus” was exhibited at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. credit: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Botticelli’s works rarely appear on the market, although they often earn considerable income when they do. In 2013, his “Virgin and Child and Saint John of the Baptist” (also known as “Rockefeller Madonna”) was auctioned for $10.4 million at Christie’s in New York.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has brought many difficulties, leading many top auction houses to lay off staff and cancel auctions, the apostle expressed optimism about Sotheby’s auction series in January. He said that the high-end market of the art market is still “bullish.”

He added: “Sotheby’s auction house and the consignor (seller of paintings) agree that the art market has shown great flexibility in the past few months, and the competition for the rarest and highest quality works continues. “We are encouraged by our conversations with collectors around the world and the great achievements we have made in recent months.”

The story was updated to correct that the painting was acquired in 1982 for £810,000 instead of US$810,000


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