Gauging the growing interest in the Asian market for Old Master works, Sotheby’s will unveil a painting by Sandro Botticelli tomorrow.
Titled “The Man Of Sorrows”, the painting features a resurrected Jesus Christ wearing a red garment. The painting was supposedly created in the later life of the artist, anywhere between the later 15th or early 16th centuries. The work, which will be unveiled on Thursday, has an estimated pre-sale tag of $40 million. Unveiled during the Hong Kong Autumn sales, the work will be the prime attraction of the annual Old Master Week sale in New York in January next year.
It is clear that Sotheby’s is hoping that the work will recreate the earlier magic of January this year. In January, “Portrait Of A Young Man Holding A Roundel” by Sandro Botticelli was sold at a record-breaking price of $92.2 million. The anonymous winning bid apparently came from Asia. The auction house clearly expects another Botticelli work to perform similarly well.
But the reason behind the high-profile unveiling in Hong Kong is the growing interest of Asian markets. Market experts suggest that there is a rise in the interest in blue-chip works from Old Masters in Asia. The bidders come not just from Hong Kong or mainland China, but also from neighboring countries like Taiwan and Japan. In recent years, the sale of works by classical European artists has fetched impressive prices in Asia. It is clear that Sotheby’s is trying to capture the market when it is volatile.