Sotheby's Masters Week Spans Millennia of Art History with $40 Million Botticelli Masterpiece
Sotheby’s Rings in the New Year with Masters Week Sale Series in New York
Traveling Through the Fifth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt to the 19th Century,
Showcasing the History of Western Art
The Masterpiece of Sandro Botticelli’s Late Career
The Man of Sorrows
As New Technical Analysis Reveals Hidden Composition of the Madonna and Child
Estimated in excess of $40 Million
Egyptian Limestone Figure of a Man Dating to Circa 2440-2355 B.C.
Formerly on View at Metropolitan Museum of Art and
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Estimate $3/5 Million
Newly-Rediscovered Works by Italian Renaissance Masters
Correggio, Andrea Del Sarto and Fra Bartolommeo
Superlative examples from Trailblazing Female Artists including
Artemisia Gentileschi, Rachel Ruysch & Anne Vallayer-Coster
The Collection of American Realist Painter Nelson Shanks, including the Artist’s Never-Before-Exhibited Studies of Portraits for Princess Diana, Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, amongst others
“In an unprecedented breadth of artwork, our annual Masters Week series spans millennia of art history from ancient Egypt to the 19th century, showcasing the remarkable development of Western art across centuries and regions. Chief among the highlights of the series is Botticelli’s Man of Sorrows. Beyond the austere beauty of the picture, our recent technical analysis of the painting led to the remarkable discovery of an incredible partial underdrawing that shows an early stage composition for Christ Child and Madonna. Though well known for his depictions of Madonnas, the figures of Madonna and Child represented in the underdrawing are a significant departure from his known compositions, and spotlight the intense religious turmoil of the artist and greater Florence at the time–which is only reinforced by the portrait of Christ that overtook the other image. The unveiling of this halted composition is a testament to Botticelli’s continued invention as a master artist.”
Christopher Apostle, Sotheby’s Head of Old Master Paintings in New York
NEW YORK, 14 January 2022 – This January, Sotheby’s will offer a rich selection of Old Master paintings, drawings and sculpture by some of the most celebrated names in European art history during its marquee Masters Week sale series, starting on 26 January. Gathered from some of the greatest private collections in the world, the sales will be headlined by Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli’s arresting Man of Sorrows, a seminal masterpiece of the Florentine artist’s late career, estimated in excess of $40 million. A touching portrayal of Christ, recent technical analysis in preparation for the sale has revealed an earlier composition of a Madonna and Child hidden beneath the painting, unseen to the naked eye till now.
Alongside masterpieces and newly discovered works from the 14th to 19th centuries, this season’s sale series will also include, for the first time ever, an Old Kingdom Egyptian limestone sculpture dated to the late 5th Dynasty, circa 2440-2355 B.C. – presenting a thought-provoking dialogue between figurative and representational art across millennia.
The Masters Week pre-sale exhibition will be open to the public beginning 22 January and run through 27 January at Sotheby’s New York headquarters.
Master Paintings & Sculpture Part I
Global Livestream Auction: 27 January, 10am ET
The centerpiece of the Master Paintings & Sculpture marquee auction is Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli’s unparalleled The Man of Sorrows, one of the last great masterpieces by the artist remaining in private hands, which was executed circa 1500. A remarkably realistic portrayal of Christ symbolizing his suffering and death, the painting showcases Christ’s divinity with a stunning psychological depth and humanity that is the hallmark of Botticelli’s portraiture, and further puts a spotlight on the artist’s own intense spirituality, which greatly influenced his later works.