Rare portrait expected to net some $15 million
NEW YORK - Reuters
‘The Madonna and Child’ may fetch up to $15 million at an auction.A rare, more than 500-year-old portrait of “The Madonna and Child” from a private collection is expected to fetch up to $15 million when it is sold at an auction of antiquities and Old Master paintings, Christie’s
said on Nov 1.
The portrait by Fra Bartolommeo, which Christie’s said dates to the mid-1490s, is beautifully preserved and still set in its original frame - and the highlight of the private collection.
“This fine collection encompasses the perfect ingredients for the current antiquities market, exquisite works of art, many with deep provenances (ownership history), even as far back as the 18th century,” Christie’s international head of antiquities, G. Max Bernheimer, said.
The circular format of the Madonna is significant, Christie’s explained in a statement, in that the Greeks revered the circle as the perfect geometrical form.
Romans used the shape for portraits to denote the subject’s apotheosis, while Fra Bartolommeo’s Renaissance contemporaries associated it with birth, death and resurrection cycles.