A rare Botticelli portrait could fetch $80 million in Sotheby’s auction

An ultra-rare portrait by the famed Italian painter Sandro Botticelli could fetch $80 million or extra when it comes up on the market at Sotheby’s on Thursday.

The auction marks the primary massive check of the artwork market this yr, in addition to the willingness of world collectors to pay eight or 9 figures for trophy works through the well being disaster and market volatility. If it does properly, it could assist enhance the status and costs for Old Master work at a time when most of massive cash in the artwork world is chasing newer, flashier works from post-war and up to date artists.

“There is an engaged global audience and interest in this painting,” mentioned Charles Stewart, CEO of Sotheby’s.

The Botticelli portray, referred to as “Young Man Holding a Roundel,” is believed to have been painted round 1480. It is one in all a couple of dozen portraits attributed to Botticelli and one in all solely a handful in personal arms.

The vendor is reported to be the property of the late property billionaire Sheldon Solow, who purchased the piece in 1982 for $1.2 million.

To market the work through the pandemic, Sotheby’s displayed the portray all over the world to collectors and potential bidders.

“The young man in the painting has done more travel during Covid than probably anybody we know,” Stewart mentioned.

Botticelli is most well-known for “Birth of Venus,” which portrays the Roman goddess rising from a seashell. The earlier document for his work was the 2013 sale of “Madonna and Child with Young Saint John the Baptist” for $10.4 million.

The work will probably be a part of Sotheby’s “Master Paintings & Sculpture” sale on Thursday.

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