Two Old Masters Set Auction Records in London

Raphael, drawing, Christie's auction
Rembrandt, painting, Christie's auction

LONDON — An auction Tuesday night in London earned the largest recorded total at a sale of its kind. Artists Raphael and Rembrandt were the stars of the Christie's Old Masters and 19th Century Sale, which fetched an impressive $112.4 million.

Raphael's drawing Head of a Muse sold for double its pre-sale estimate, earning a winning bid of $47.5 million. That figure established a record, making the work the most valuable drawing ever sold at auction and the second highest price ever paid for an Old Master painting or drawing. The 16th century work was done as a study for one of the artist's frescoes in the Vatican.

Rembrandt's painting Portrait of a Man, Half-Length, with his Arms Akimbo also fetched a record price for the artist and was the fifth highest price paid at auction for an Old Master painting or drawing, selling for $33.2 million. The 17th century piece was previously part of a private collection, and until Tuesday, had not been seen in public for forty years.
[Images: Left - Raphael, "Head of a Muse" (1508-11). | Right - Rembrandt, "Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo" (1658).]


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