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Raphael Drawing Estimated to Sell for £10-15 million – UPDATE – Sells for £29,721,250

September 4, 2012

Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael, Auxiliary cartoon for the Head of a Young Apostle, c.1519-20, 375 x 278 mm (143⁄4 x 10 7/8 in), est: £10-15 million

UPDATE – This lot sold for £29,721,250 (including the buyer’s premium).  My blog with information about other lots in the sale including a post sale video of highlights.

ORIGINAL POST – Sotheby’s this morning announced it will be auctioning a Raphael drawing from the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth this December for an estimated £10-15 million. From their press release:

This December, Sotheby’s will offer at auction three Renaissance masterworks: a major drawing by Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael (1483-1520); and two 15th-century illuminated manuscripts, produced in Flanders for two of the leading patrons of their day, and among the most important examples of

their kind ever to come to auction. Created half a millennium ago and within 60 years of each other, the three works, which have a total estimate of £17m-26m, come to sale from the Devonshire Collection, housed at Chatsworth in Derbyshire. They will be offered in Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Old Master Paintings and Drawings in London on 5th December 2012.

Speaking of the sale, the Duke of Devonshire said, “We are very fortunate that the Devonshire Collection has such extraordinary depth in so many areas. The sale of these works which our family has long cared for will now benefit the long-term future of Chatsworth and its collections.”

Executed in black chalk, Raphael’s Head of an Apostle (estimated at £10–15 million) is a highly important drawing within the artist’s oeuvre: a working, ‘auxiliary cartoon’ for a significant figure in the Transfiguration, Raphael’s greatest late work, commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici in around 1516 and recently described by scholars as “one of the most important of all Renaissance paintings”1.When Raphael died unexpectedly at the age of just 37, his body was laid out in state in his studio, with the Transfiguration hanging at his head. (The painting can today be seen in the Vatican Museum in Rome.)

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