Museum Shows $70 Million Holbein Painting Snapped Up by German Billionaire

  • January 24, 2012 21:42

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“The Madonna With the Family of Mayor Meyer,” painted in 1525-8 by Hans Holbein the Younger.

Billionaire industrialist and art collector Reinhold Wuerth last year purchased a Hans Holbein painting for about $70 million, the highest amount ever paid for a work of art in Germany, according to reports.

An art collector for more than forty years, Wuerth decided that the "Madonna with the Family Mayor Meyer" would be an important addition to his 14,000 piece collection.

“I think it was a good buy,” he said about the sale in Bloomberg.

Wuerth made his fortune selling wholesale screws on a global scale. He took over his family company in 1955, which at the time, employed only two salesmen. Now Forbes estimates his worth to be around $4.1 billion.

The painting, dating from 1525-28, was commissioned by Basel Mayor Jacob Meyer zum Hasen. Wuerth told Bloomberg that he liked the Madonna's smile in the picture.

It went on display Jan. 20 in the Kunsthalle Wuerth, the collector's repository of late medieval art. The museum, housed in a 12th-century church, is located in the town of Schwaebisch Hall just 70 kilometers northwest of Stuttgart. Wuerth's large collection ranges from works by Lucas Cranach the Elder to Anselm Kiefer.

(Report: Alisa Alexander for ARTFIXdaily)

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