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Boston Museum drops $12 million for Wild Flemish Masterpiece

March 21, 2012

Frans Francken The Younger (1581 – Antwerp – 1642)
Mankind’s Eternal Dilemma – The Choice Between Vice And Virtue
On panel, Signed and dated lower left, Do ffranck fecit. Ao 1633, 56 x 83 in, (142 x 210.8 cm)

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, according to ArtNet, has acquired Frans Francken’s Mankind’s Eternal Dilemma – The Choice Between Virtue and Vice for $12 million from London-based old master painting dealer Johnny Van Haeften at their year’s TEFAF art fair in Maastricht.  The painting appeared at Dorotheum auction house in April 21, 2010, with a high estimate of €500,000, and sold for a record €7,022,300 ($9,458,152) [price includes the buyer’s premium].  Van Haeften allegedly purchased the painting sight unseen, delayed from attending the auction because of the Icelandic volcano that disrupted so much European air travel that spring (remember?).

Detail: Mankind’s Eternal Dilemma – The Choice Between Vice And Virtue

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