RAPHAEL PORTRAIT SELLS FOR £18.5 ($37.3 MILLION/ €27.3 MILLION) AT CHRISTIE’S IN LONDON This evening’s auction of Important Old Master and British Pictures realises £41,540,000 / $83,703,100 / €61,396,120
from the 14th to the 17th centuries and provided many of the greatest patrons of the High Renaissance; Donatello, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti all received the patronage of the Medici family, one of the wealthiest families in Europe. The Medici also held great power through a series of appointments, conquests and strategic marriages. One such appointment was that of Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici (1475-1521), second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, who was elected Pope Leo X in 1513. Seeking to consolidate the position of the Medici family on an international stage, the Pope arranged for his nephew, Lorenzo, to be married to Madeleine de la Tour d’Auvergne, a cousin of Francois I, King of France, an important ally of the Vatican against the Holy Roman Empire. As neither the Duke nor the bride-to-be had met, an exchange of portraits was arranged in order that they could see what to expect.
On 2 May 1518 the Duke was married in the château of Amboise in France. Returning to Florence with his bride, their entry to the city was celebrated with a banquet at which Raphael’s portrait of the Pope, now in the Uffizi, Florence, was exhibited. The couple had a child, Catherine de Medici, who went on to marry King Henry II of France, but less than a year after the marriage, the Duchess died. Lorenzo died soon afterwards in 1519.
Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael (1483-1520) was one of the most important artists of the High Renaissance and one of the most influential and accomplished painters in European history. Born in Urbino in 1483, he was orphaned by the age of 11 and sent to the care of his uncle. He lived in Florence from 1504 to 1508 where he absorbed the influence of his great contemporaries Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. In 1508, he was summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II and commissioned to paint frescos in one of the Papal rooms in the Vatican. He spent most of his life in Rome under the patronage of Julius II and his successor, Leo X, the uncle of Lorenzo Medici whose portrait is to be offered at Christie’s in July. According to the great biographer Giorgio Vasari, Pope Leo X “wept bitterly when he died” in 1520, and had planned to make him a cardinal.
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Important Old Master and British Pictures
Thursday 5 July 2007
[All sold prices include buyer’s premium]
Sold: £41,540,000 $83,703,100 €61,396,120 Sale No: 7530 / 7413
Lots Sold: 55 Lots Offered: 91 Sold by Lot: 60% Sold by £: 81%
Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael (Urbino 1483-1520 Rome) Portrait of Lorenzo de' Medici,
Duke of Urbino (1492-1519), three-quarter-length, holding a gold box
WORLD RECORD PRICE FOR THE ARTIST AT AUCTION
40 £3,044,000 $6,133,660 € 4,499,032 £2,500,000 - 3,500,000 Otto Naumann Ltd
Domenico Zampieri, il Domenichino