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  • A BOTTICELLI AT SOTHEBY’S

    Young Man Holding a Roundel by Sandro Botticelli will come up at Sotheby’s in New York next January. With an estimate in excess of $80 million it will highlight the annual Masters Week sales series. In market terms this price will establish it in art market history as one of the most significant portraits, of any period, ever to appear at auction – alongside Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II (sold in 2006 for $87.9 million) and Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr Gachet (sold in 1990 for $82.5 million).

    Young Man Holding a Roundel is the pictorial synthesis of the ideals, the magic and the beauty of Renaissance Florence where, for the first time since antiquity, the individual and the human figure were at the centre of both life and art. Botticelli was at the vanguard of this movement, and his revolutionary style lead him to be one of the first artists to abandon the tradition of depicting sitters in profile. Yet for all it embodies of the Florentine Renaissance, the painting is timelessly modern in its stark simplicity, bold colors, and graphic linearity.

    Young Man Holding a Roundel was first securely recorded in the 1930s in the collection of Lord Newborough at Caernarvon in Wales, and is believed to have been acquired by his ancestor Sir Thomas Wynn, 1st Lord Newborough (1736-1807) while living in Tuscany. In 1935/8, the portrait passed via a London dealer to a private collector, whose heirs sold it at auction in 1982 to the present owner for £810,000.

    In the past 50 years, the painting has spent extended periods on loan at the National Gallery, London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

    Sandro BotticelliYoung Man Holding a Roundel

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