Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema masterpiece fetches record $35.9 million

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s The Finding of Moses had been estimated to sell for $3/5 million.
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s The Finding of Moses had been estimated to sell for $3/5 million.
(Sotheby's)

At Sotheby’s in New York on Nov. 4, The Finding of Moses, a 19th century masterpiece by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, sold for a remarkable $35,922,500, more than seven times its high estimate, in a sale of 19th Century European Art which brought a total of $61,536,125.

This highly sought-after work by the British artist previously sold in 1995 for $2.8 million.

The painting once belonged to Allen Funt, creator of the popular prank show Candid Camera. His collection of masterworks by Alma-Tadema was exhibited in a landmark show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1973.

If the setting of The Finding of Moses looks familiar, it is because prints of the painting were later used by Cecil B. DeMille’s script writers and designers as inspiration for scenes from Cleopatra (1934) and The Ten Commandments (1956).

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