The Straits Times
Published on Nov 02, 2012

Antiquities, Renaissance art expected to net some $18.3m


NEW YORK (REUTERS) - A rare, more than 500-year-old portrait of the Madonna and child from a private collection is expected to fetch up to US$15 million (S$18.3 million) when it is sold at an auction of antiquities and Old Master paintings, Christie's said on Thursday.

The portrait by Fra Bartolommeo, which Christie's said dates to the mid-1490s, is beautifully preserved and still set in its original frame - and the highlight of the private collection.

"This fine collection encompasses the perfect ingredients for the current antiquities market - exquisite works of art, many with deep provenances (ownership history), even as far back as the 18th century," Christie's international head of antiquities, G. Max Bernheimer, told Reuters.

The circular format of the Madonna is significant, Christie's explained in a statement, in that the Greeks revered the circle as the perfect geometrical form.