Christie’s auction house has announced that a Michelangelo sketch found in 2019 will be auctioned in Paris on 18 May 2022. They estimate that it could go for 30 million euros.
The sketch is one of the rare works of the Italian Renaissance artist to have been in a private collection. It was first sold in 1907 as one of the works from Michelangelo’s famous school. It was then forgotten until 2019, until an appraiser of the British Auction House Christie’s recognized it as an original work by the artist himself.
The work depicts a frightened man from the fresco Baptism of the Neophyte, by Masaccio. It shows two more people standing near him.
It is thought that the work belonged to the ‘Michelangelo’s school’, and that the drawing was one of the first works that the Italian artist drew.
“I think this drawing is one of the most exciting discoveries of a drawing by an old master in ancient times”, said Stijn Alsteens, head of the department for old masters’ drawings at Christie’s.
“It shows that Michelangelo is doing two things at the same time, looking back at the artists who preceded him, in this case Masaccio, and rejoicing in his own work and his revolutionary aspect – especially the depiction of man. A body that becomes such an important part in sculptures , I’m thinking of David in Florence, or many of the figures he painted in the Sistine Chapel”, added Alsteens.
Christie’s claims that this is one of the most exciting discoveries for a long time. The sketch is considered a French national treasure, but the French government recently abolished that status in art, so the work can be offered to collectors around the world.
The drawing will be exhibited in Hong Kong and New York before the auction in Paris, which is scheduled for 18 May 2022.
Photo: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes