Botticelli painting sells for $92 million at auction in NYC
NEW YORK (AP) – A small painting by Sandro Botticelli sold for $ 92.2 million on Thursday at Sotheby’s in New York, an auction record for the master of the Renaissance.
The work “Young man with a roundel” from around 1475 shows a young nobleman with a round painting of a saint. It is one of only three privately owned portraits by the artist best known for “The Birth of Venus” and “Primavera”.
“Not only is this an extraordinary painting, it is the epitome of beauty and a moment when so much of our Western civilization began,” said Christopher Apostle, director of the painting department at Sotheby’s Old Masters in New York. “Today’s result is a fitting tribute to the painting itself and to everything it represents.”
The seller was the estate of the late real estate billionaire Sheldon Solow, who bought the work from Christie’s in 1982 for £ 810,000, or just over $ 1 million today.
Two bidders applied for the painting at the livestream auction on Thursday. Sotheby’s has not disclosed the identity of the buyer.
Sotheby’s exhibited “Portrait of a Young Man with a Roundel” ahead of its Thursday sale in London, Dubai, Los Angeles and New York. The price, which included auction house fees, was the highest price paid for an ancient masterpiece since Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold for $ 450 million in 2017.