A Madonna and Child painting by the Italian master Sandro Botticelli has fetched $10.4 million at Christie’s Renaissance sale in New York, setting a record for the artist at auction. The masterpiece sold for twice its original estimate.
Botticelli's tour de force, dating to the early 1490s, sold over the phone after just a few minutes of bidding. The buyer's identity has not been disclosed.
The painting traveled to Hong Kong, London and Moscow before it was sold at Rockefeller Plaza.
The monumental work, "Madonna and Child with Young Saint John the Baptist", has been dubbed by art collectors 'the Rockefeller Madonna' after John D. Rockefeller acquired it in the 1930s.
Botticelli’s previous auction record was set in 2006 when his “Madonna and Child, with a pomegranate, in an alcove with roses behind” went under the hammer for $7.5 million at Christie’s.
The highest-grossing lot featured at Christie’s Renaissance sale was The Madonna and Child by Fra Bartolommeo, painted in the 1490s under the influence of Leonardo da Vinci. The painting sold for $12.9 million in New York.