Sandro Botticelli portrait estimated USD 80m to appear at auction

A Sandro Botticelli portrait of a rich and good-looking young guy, described as some of the biggest Renaissance art work is to seem at public sale with an estimate of greater than USD 80m

Sotheby’s said it was the largest estimate for an old master painting it had ever set, a reflection of its importance and rarity.

Christopher Apostle, who has for more than three decades handled Old Masters and is now head of the division, said: “Just the sheer beauty of this has been a joy.

Accordingly to Mr. Apostle Botticelli nymphs, goddesses, Madonnas and saints populate our imagination as representatives of the rebirth of science, art, and literature in a city that laid the foundation for the modern world.

It is in his portraits, however, that Botticelli most clearly opens a window on to the world of Renaissance Florence – never more so than in Young Man Holding a Roundel, a painting that encapsulates the intellectual, courtly and humanistic virtues that define the Italian Renaissance.”Apostle declared

The auction house believes it could sell for more than 100 million dollars.

The last painting to achieve that level at auction was Claude Monet’s Meules at Sotheby’s New York in 2019, going for 110 million dollars.

Experts said the young man’s face embodied the ideals of Renaissance beauty, while his wavy, centre-parted long hair would have been the height of fashion.Who the young man depicted has been lost to history, as well as why he holds the roundel. Some scholars believe he is associated with the ruling House of Medici or another powerful family in Florence. His tunic looks modest but its dark mauve colour would have been expensive to achieve and suggests he was wealthy and upper class.

Photograph: Julian Cassady Photography/c/o Sotheby’s

Mr Apostle does not believe the global pandemic will depress interest in the work.


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