According to Associate Press, one of the most significant drawings by Italian painter & architect Raphael sold for 29.7 million pounds ($47.8 million) in London Wednesday, completely surpassing pre-sale estimates.
The drawing at hand, “Head of an Apostle,” (seen above) was expected to fetch between 10 million pounds and 15 million pounds. Sotheby’s auction house said the sale set a record for any work on paper sold at auction, with the winning bid being placed over the phone following an intense battle among four bidders.
“Head of an Apostle” was originally created in preparation for Raphael’s Biblical painting “The Transfiguration,” which hangs in the Vatican Museum in Rome. The piece had been part of a collection at the Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth House home in Derbyshire since the 1700s.
Most of us will probably never see $48 million, but given the iconic status of Raphael do you think it was a fair price? Let us know, folks.