A portrait with mysterious backstory painted by Sandro Botticelli–one of the greatest painters of the Florentine Renaissance, was sold for $92 Million finally after four and a half minutes of bidding. Despite the ongoing global economic hit due to the pandemic, auction houses are still successful by building their presence virtually and IRL auction events. As it marks the first big sale of 2021, this transaction’s success opened opportunities for the art community to a longer striking clip.
“This is not only an exceptional painting, it is also the epitome of beauty, and of a moment when so much of our Western civilization began,” said Christopher Apostle, head of Sotheby’s Old Masters Painting department in New York. “Today’s result is a fitting tribute, both to the painting itself and all that it represents.”
The work was entitled: Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Roundel which holds the highest price paid since the masterpiece by Leonardo Da Vinci entitled: Salvator Mundi was purchased in 2017 for $450 million worth–marked as the highest-paid masterpiece in an auction. Sheldon Show’s Foundation, the seller of Botticelli’s masterpiece, made a substantial profit from the painting given that Show bought it for $1.3 million in the early 1980s–likely be an opportunity for them to open a new museum in New York City.
“This could easily be the end of today’s story and the start of a new one. But in fact, the tale of the painting itself—or lack thereof—is arguably just as intriguing. Despite the household-name status Sandro Botticelli enjoys today, the artist was in fact forgotten for hundreds of years after his death…”New York Times