Saturday, July 7, 2007
Raphael - Portrait Sells For $37.3 Million
A masterpiece by Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael (1483-1520) sold at yesterday evening’s auction of Important Old Master and British Pictures at Christie’s in London for £18,500,000 ($37,277,500 / €27,343,000), a world record price for the artist at auction and a world record price for an Italian Old Master Picture (by US$). One of only a handful of paintings by the artist to remain in private hands, the work portrays Lorenzo de’ Medici, Duke of Urbino and ruler of Florence from 1513 to 1519. The most important Renaissance portrait to be offered at auction for a generation, and the most important work by the artist to be offered at auction in recent decades, it was bought after a ten minute bidding battle by a private collector biding on the telephone.