Michelangelo drawing expected to sell for €30 million at Christie’s

Michelangelo drawing expected to sell for €30 million at Christie's

Michelangelo drawing expected to sell for €30 million at Christie’s

Michelangelo — A nude young man after Masaccio surrounded by two figures

Christie’s has announced the sale of a drawing by Michelangelo, offered with an estimate on request (in the region of €30 million).

By G. Fernandez — theartwolf.com ·· Image: Michelangelo Buonarroti, A young nude (after Masaccio) surrounded by two figures. Pen and two-tone brown ink, 33 x 19.8 cm. (13 x 7 7/8 in.)

In Michelangelo’s early drawings -figures copied from Masaccio’s frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel- the technique (…) -especially as regards the way of defining the volumes- derives from that used by Ghirlandaio in those same years and taught in his workshop. It is a sort of mesh of intersecting lines that gradually define, according to their density, the intensity of the shadows, while their direction suggests the dominant dimension of the form.Tomás Llorens, “Michelangelo” (1993)

Just three days ago, in our preview of the sale of 12 works from the Anne Hendricks Bass collection, which will go on auction at Christie’s valued collectively at some $250 million, we were commented that the “big week” of the 2022 spring auctions promises to be one of the remarkable ones in recent years. Led by that “beautiful child” (as Truman Capote would define it) valued at $200 million, with Sotheby’s offering the second part of the Macklowe collection auction, as well as an Impressionist art auction that will include a $50 million Monet, and Phillips signing up to the party with the $70 million “SuperBasquiat”; this week full of modern and contemporary masterpieces was only missing a “trophy work” by an old master. And there is no Old Master more important than Michelangelo.

Next May 18, Christie’s will offer in Paris a drawing by the “divine” Michelangelo, carrying a presale estimate in the region of €30 million ($32,7 million). “A young nude (after Masaccio) surrounded by two figures” is the first drawing by Michelangelo to go on auction since a double male nude (obverse and reverse) was auctioned at Christie’s for £3.2 million in 2011, a price then surprisingly low that some specialists blamed on the state of conservation of the drawing. Previously, two drawings by the Italian master were sold for spectacular prices that could support the estimate given by Christie’s. “The Risen Christ” fetched £8.1 million in 2000, and “Study of a Mourning Woman” fetched £6 million the following year. The latter work was then sold to the Getty Museum for an unpublished price in 2017.

From the point of view of a collector who lives up to his name, a work by Michelangelo should automatically become an extremely sought-after piece. At a time when any auction of modern and contemporary art includes several works that are auctioned off for tens of millions, €30 million does not seem an exaggerated figure for a drawing by one of the greatest names in the history of universal art. If the small size of the work seems a problem, it is worth remembering that last year a diminutive (7 x 7 cm) drawing by Leonardo da Vinci was auctioned for £8.9 million. #2022 #ArtMarket #Christie’s #MichelangeloBuonarroti #theartwolf

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