A long-overlooked painting by Italian renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, now being touted as a “semi-permanent masterpiece,” is poised to make the art market’s first headline-grabbing auction price in 2022.
Botticelli’s temperature on the panel “Man of Sorrow” a half-length depiction of the resurrected Jesus raising his hand in blessing, the star party of a Sotheby’s Thursday old master painting and sculpture sale. The painting, last seen at auction in 1963, is certain to secure a price of at least $40 million, thanks to a predetermined “irrevocable offer” from a third-party guarantor.
This is the second big ticket Botticelli offered by Sotheby’s in a year. Last January,Portrait of a young man holding a bullet” From the estate of a New York-based real estate magnate and art collector Sheldon Solow sold for $92.2 milliona record price for a Botticelli at auction and an old main painting at Sotheby’s.
old masters not as fashionable for being in the shadows, as with rich collectors luxury products such as sneakers and handbags as an income generating sales category at both Sotheby’s and Christie’s. But impressive prices can still be reached at auction for centuries-old paintings marketed as signature quality works of art history’s most famous names. In 2017, “Salvator Mundi,” cataloged by Christie’s as a long-lost masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci, is an extensively restored panel painting of Christ as the “Savior of the World,” Sold for $450.3 millionA record for any artwork offered at auction.
Sotheby’s defines “The Man of Sorrow” as “a late work from about 1500” by Botticelli’s 1550 by Giorgio Vasari.Lives of Artists” Florentine painter influenced by Dominican priest’s preaching of fire and sulfur Girolamo Savonarolaadhere to the preacher’s denomination. Artifacts from Botticelli’s later period have been viewed by modern scholars as being filled with intense religious fervor. Sotheby’s solemn composition is notable for its halo of sorrowful angels surrounding the thorn-crowned head of the risen Christ.
“If it was more secular, it would greatly expand the market,” said Guy Jennings, the company’s senior director. Fine Arts Groupis a London-based arts consulting and arts finance firm. “A difficult picture, but impressive and rare.”
When “The Man of Sorrows” last auctioned as a Botticelli nearly 60 years ago, it sold for a relatively modest $26,000. Ronald Lightbown, the leading Botticelli scholar of the time, later listed the painting among “workshop and school paintings” in his 1978 full catalog of the artist’s works. In Frank Zöllner’s 2005 monograph on the artist, it is grouped among “late atelier products from the Botticelli circle”.
But like “Salvator Mundi” included in 2011-2012.Leonardo da Vinci: The Painter in the Milan Palace” His exhibition “The Man of Sorrows” at the National Gallery in London drew on the reference given to him in a major museum exhibition.
In 2009, a long-overlooked painting from an unnamed family collection was included as a signature-status work in the “Botticelli: Similarity, Legend, Devotion” exhibition at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.
Bastien Eclercy, curator of Städel’s Italian, French and Spanish paintings before 1800, states that in the exhibition catalog the “rediscovered painting from a private collection” not only represents “an important new example of Botticelli’s late period” but also “Christ in the Renaissance”. A striking aspect of our understanding of the depiction of
Laurence Kanter, chief curator of European art at Yale University Art Gallery, and Keith Christiansen, former head of the European painting division at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, endorsed this association, according to Sotheby’s.
“It’s an extraordinary opportunity to access a historically significant work of art,” said Todd Levin, a New York-based art consultant specializing in both contemporary and vintage masterworks. “The possibility that it was made by Botticelli makes it extremely desirable. There are a few valuable veteran trophies that remain in private hands.”
Levin also points out that Sotheby’s sale of this latest Botticelli highlights how the major auction houses have thrived in the tough trading conditions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. Technologically innovative, live-streamed and driven exclusively by online auctions, Sotheby’s reported sales of $7.3 billion in 2021, The highest total in the company’s 277-year history.
Sotheby’s was acquired in 2019 by French-Israeli telecommunications giant Patrick Drahi in a leveraged buyout of $3.7 billion. Last month, Bloomberg Drahi reported that he was considering turning the privately owned Sotheby’s once again into a publicly traded company.
“Sotheby’s does not comment on rumors or speculation,” the auction house said in a statement, which was asked to comment on the Bloomberg report.