An unusual Botticelli picture might bring $80 million in Sotheby’s auction

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

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An ultra-rare picture by the famous Italian painter Sandro Botticelli might bring $80 million or more when it turns up for sale at Sotheby’s on Thursday.

The auction marks the very first huge test of the art market this year, in addition to the desire of international collectors to pay 8 or 9 figures for prize works throughout the health crisis and market volatility. If it succeeds, it might assist enhance the credibility and costs for Old Master paintings at a time when the majority of huge cash in the art world is chasing after more recent, flashier works from post-war and modern artists.

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

The Botticelli painting, called “Young Man Holding a Roundel,” is thought to have actually been painted around 1480. It is among about a lots pictures credited to Botticelli and among just a handful in personal hands.

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

To market the work throughout the pandemic, Sotheby’s showed the painting worldwide to collectors and prospective bidders.

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

Botticelli is most popular for “Birth of Venus,” which represents the Roman goddess emerging from a seashell. The previous record for his work was the 2013 sale of “Madonna and Child with Young Saint John the Baptist” for $10.4 million.

The work will belong to Sotheby’s “Master Paintings & Sculpture” sale on Thursday.

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