Sotheby’s Dubai is set to exhibit the renowned Italian renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli’s artwork “The Man of Sorrows” from Dec. 12-14.
It will be on view to the public from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. before it returns to New York for Sotheby’s annual Masters Week sales series in January 2022, where it will be offered with an estimate in excess of $40 million.
Executed in the late 15th/early 16th century, the painting is one of the last masterpieces remaining in private hands by Botticelli.
The artwork puts a spotlight on the artist’s spirituality, which greatly influenced his later period of work and life.
“The Man of Sorrows” was first recorded in the collection of Adelaide Kemble Sartoris (1814-1879), a famed English opera singer, and descended in the family to her great granddaughter, who sold it at auction in 1963 for $28,000.
Since then, it has remained in the same private collection, unseen until its inclusion in the major exhibition devoted to the Florentine master at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt in 2009 to 2010.
The work came to auction following Sotheby’s sale of Botticelli’s “Young Man Holding a Roundel” in January 2021, which was also exhibited in Dubai.
The painting sold for $92.2 million – making it one of the most valuable portraits of any era ever sold and one of the most valuable old master paintings ever sold at auction.
Despite the landmark sale earlier this year, works by Botticelli – from any period – remain exceedingly rare at auction. His late works in particular very seldom appear on the market, with only three other works from this period (post 1492) known to be in private hands.