A rare portrait by Florentine Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli brought $92.2 million at a livestreamed Sotheby's sale on Thursday morning.
The price is the highest at auction for an Old Master work since Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" fetched $450.3 million in 2017. It is also the second-highest price ever paid for an Old Master. The late billionaire Sheldon Solow bought the artwork for $1.3 million in 1982.
Botticelli's “Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Roundel” dates to around 1480 and is thought to possibly depict a Medici family member. It was expected to fetch as much as $80 million .
Katya Kazakina writes for The New York Times: "The bidding at the auction...lasted just 4.5 minutes and drew only two competitors. The winning bid was placed by Lilija Sitnika, a London-based staffer who works with Russian clients. The underbidder was from Asia, Sotheby’s said, declining to elaborate further."
The painting is one of only three by Botticelli left in private hands. The artist’s previous auction record of $10.4 million was set in 2013 for "Madonna and Child with Young Saint John the Baptist" at Christie’s.