• Lebanon - Beirut
  • March 2, 2021
A painting by Sandro Botticelli called Young Man Holding a Roundel is held by a Sotheby's employee Friday in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
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(UPI) — A rare portrait by Italian painter Sandro Botticelli is expected to fetch $80 million at auction next week, according to Sotheby’s, a record for the Old Master.

Young Man Holding a Roundel, along with dozens of other Old Master artworks, went on display at Sotheby’s New York City location Friday. The items are set to be auctioned off Thursday in a hybrid live stream and in-person format.

Botticelli was mostly known for his large, mythological paintings, including The Birth of Venus and Primavera, both of which are housed at the Uffizi gallery in Florence, Italy. He also created dozens of religious paintings.

Secular portraits, though, were somewhat rare for the Italian Renaissance master. It’s even rarer that one is in private hands and has come up for auction.

Sotheby’s said Young Man Holding a Roundel has been in the hands of the same owner since 1982, though the owner has loaned it out for display at museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, London’s National Gallery and the Staled Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.

The painting depicts a young man from the waist up holding a medallion depicting a saint. Historians believe it was painted in 1480 and features the likeness of a member of the Medici family.

If the painting fetches anywhere close to its auction estimate, it will blow past all previous records for a Botticelli. The previous high auction price was $10.4 million, set in 2014 in the sale of Rockefeller Madonna.

Another marquee item in the Old Masters auction is a painting titled Abraham and the Angels by Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn. The small, 1646 painting is expected to fetch between $20 million and $30 million.

The auction will also include artworks by Albrecht Durer, Gian Lorenzo, Pietro Bernini, Luca della Robbia, Jacopo Tintoretto and Rachel Ruysch.

(By Danielle Haynes / UPI)

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