It seems that life has not been disrupted by the “Sotheby’s” auction house in light of the Corona pandemic, as the painting “The Young Medalist”, painted by Sandero Botticelli, was sold for $ 92.2 million, to an unknown buyer who snapped up the painting after bids reached 80 million. It is a record for the paintings of this Italian artist, in addition to that it places the painting at the forefront of the most expensive paintings this year.
The “Young Medalist”, painted at the end of the fifteenth century, is believed to be a portrait of a member of the noble Florentine Medici family who was a patron of Botticelli and most of the artists of the so-called Renaissance.
The painting is relatively well known, especially as being in a private collection for more than a century. And it has been exhibited in a number of the most visited art museums in the world, such as the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York City and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, which raised its value in the global art market.
The price at which the painting was sold exceeds the expectations of the “Sotheby’s” house that announced the auction last September and expected to sell it for $ 80 million, as the new owner will pay 92.2 million to the famous auction house, provided that the old owner gets 80 million, and the rest goes ( 12.2 million) to pay taxes and commissions.
This price is a remarkable jump in prices for Botticelli’s paintings, as the previous record reached 10.4 million (in 2013), and the last recorded price for this painting did not exceed 5% of the new price, as it was last sold nearly 40 years ago in an auction for 1.3 million years 1982 to the late American billionaire Sheldon Solo, a real estate developer who died in New York City last November, leaving an estimated fortune of 4.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
This price does not place Botticelli’s painting on the list of the 10 most expensive works of art around the world, nor even in the list of twenty, as it hardly places it in the 28th place for the highest-priced paintings, led by Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” painting, which sold for 450 million dollars in 2017.
But it puts it in the category of the most expensive works of art sold during 2020-2021 so far, the most expensive artworks at auction last year were the works of Francis Bacon, inspired by the Greek tragedy of Aeschylus, which were sold for $ 84.5 million last June.
And this painting may remain in the top selling business in 2021, and a new auction may displace it with older and higher-priced paintings, and the pandemic outbreak may have another opinion during the current year, this is what we will know for sure.