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Botticelli painting sells for £67m at auction

The work, Young Man Holding A Roundel, from about 1475, depicts a young nobleman holding a round painting of a saint.

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Sandro Botticelli’s painting called Young Man Holding A Roundel is displayed at Sotheby’s in New York (Seth Wenig/AP)

Sandro Botticelli’s painting called Young Man Holding A Roundel is displayed at Sotheby’s in New York (Seth Wenig/AP)

Sandro Botticelli’s painting called Young Man Holding A Roundel is displayed at Sotheby’s in New York (Seth Wenig/AP)

A small painting by Sandro Botticelli has sold at Sotheby’s in New York for 92.2 million US dollars (£67.1 million), an auction record for the Renaissance master.

The work, Young Man Holding A Roundel, from about 1475, depicts a young nobleman holding a round painting of a saint.

It is one of just three portraits in private hands by the artist best known for The Birth Of Venus and Primavera.

“This is not only an exceptional painting, it is also the epitome of beauty, and of a moment when so much of our Western civilisation began,” said Christopher Apostle, head of Sotheby’s Old Masters Painting department in New York.

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Sandro Botticelli’s Young Man Holding A Roundel displayed at Sotheby’s in New York (Seth Wenig/AP)

Sandro Botticelli’s Young Man Holding A Roundel displayed at Sotheby’s in New York (Seth Wenig/AP)

AP/PA Images

Sandro Botticelli’s Young Man Holding A Roundel displayed at Sotheby’s in New York (Seth Wenig/AP)

“Today’s result is a fitting tribute, both to the painting itself and all that it represents.”

The seller was the estate of the late property billionaire Sheldon Solow, who bought the work at Christie’s in 1982 for £810,000.

Two bidders competed for the painting at Thursday’s livestreamed auction.

Sotheby’s did not disclose the identity of the buyer.

It exhibited Portrait Of A Young Man Holding A Roundel in London, Dubai, Los Angeles and New York ahead of Thursday’s sale.

The price, which included the auction house’s fees, was the highest price paid for an old master work since Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi sold for 450 million dollars (£327.9 million) in 2017.

PA


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