I’m looking foward with interest to the outcome of the auction of the Botticelli painting titled: Young Man Holding a Roundel. The auction is part of Sotheby’s Old Master sales series scheduled for January 28 in New York, and the painting is expected to sell for around £60 million. It was previously auctioned at Christie’s London in 1982 and bought for £810,000.
There’s a mystery about the subject. No one knows who the young man is or the name of the saint featured in the roundel. I have my own ideas and intend to post on this before the Sotheby’s auction sale at the end of the month.
The image alongside is by Giovanni Bellini. Titled Portrait of a Boy, it is dated at 1475 and housed at the Barber Institute in Birmingham.
The subject is said to be a son of Angelo Probi who died in 1474 and was ambassador to Venice for the KIng of Naples. Like the Botticelli portrait, the boy’s name is unknown.
There are similarities between the two paintings, perhaps enough to suggest that the Bellini portrait could be viewed as a younger version of the youth painted by Botticelli.
Sotheby’s has published an interesting online catalogue to accompany the sale which can be viewed at its website.