Botticelli returns to the art market

Botticelli returns to the art market

Sandro Botticelli — The man of sorrows

In January 2022, Sotheby’s will auction Sandro Botticelli’s “The Man of Sorrows”, a year after a portrait by the same artist fetched over $92 million at auction.

Source: Sotheby’s. Image: Sandro Botticelli, “The Man of Sorrows”, c.1500. Estimate on request (in excess of $40 million).

The painting belongs to the last period of Botticelli’s career, when the artist left aside the famous allegories and mythological scenes of his previous period (“Primavera”, “The Birth of Venus”), to focus almost exclusively on religious images, under the influence of Savonarola. His “Mystical Nativity” (London, National Gallery) and “Christ Crowned with Thorns” (Accademia Carrara, Bergamo), a work that clearly recalls the painting to be auctioned next January, date from this period.

Somewhat optimistically, Sotheby’s has described the painting as a “masterpiece”. George Wachter, head of the auction house’s antique painting department, said that “The Man of Sorrows” is “a deeply complex and moving portrait that is truly timeless”. In a press release, Sotheby’s explains that the painting has remained in the same private collection since it was acquired in 1963 for £10,000 ($28,000).

With very few examples in private hands, works by Sandro Botticelli rarely appear on the market. Curiously, in the last two years that trend seems to have been broken, and with this work there are now three paintings by the Renaissance master that are seeking or have sought a buyer. In addition to the aforementioned $92 million sale of “Young Man Holding a Roundel” in January 2020, the previous year the “Portrait of Michele Marullo”, owned by the Cambó family, was exhibited at Frieze London with a price tag of around €30 million, but a ban on its sale to a buyer outside Spain prevented it from being sold. Previously, other works by Botticelli had appeared on the market, but always with doubts about their attribution, including the very beautiful “Rockefeller Madonna” auctioned in 2013 for just over $10 million. #2021 #ArtMarket #SandroBotticelli #theartwolf

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ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

ART magazine aimed to offer an original & independent point of view about the Art World ▷ Its news, events, protagonists, glories and miseries.

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