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Botticelli’s Man Of Sorrows Fetches $45.5M At Sotheby’s Auction

Botticelli’s Man of Sorrows fetched $45.5 million in a Sotheby’s Old Masters auction – the second-highest price fetched by the artist.

The anticipated bid for the work by Sandro Botticelli only involved three bidders – all on phone. The slow auction gradually built up the heat between two final bidders, represented by Liz Lobkowicz and Christopher Apostle, both of whom are specialists in Renaissance art. The bidding war concluded at a final hammer price of $39.3 million. This was just shy of the $40 million pre-auction estimate for the work. Including the fee, the final price was $45.5 million, one of the better sales at the international auction house.

Young Man Holding A Roundel

Man of Sorrows, created sometime in the 1500s, fetched the second-highest amount for a work by the Italian Renaissance master. In doing so, it displaced the previous second spot, held by The Rockefeller Madonna (16th century) that fetched $10.4 million in 2013, by a long shot. But it was still far behind Young Man Holding A Roundel, the Botticelli work that fetched a whopping $92 million in the same auction a few hours later.

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Man of Sorrows is a portrait of Jesus Christ, adorned with his crown of thorns and a ‘halo’ composed of flying angels. The bust-length portrait is from the later years of Botticelli’s life when the artist began creating more Christian-themed works. Man of Sorrows last exchanged hands in 1963, when it was purchased for £10,000. It has been in a private collection since then, exhibited only once in 2009.