Botticelli painting fetches record $92m at auction

A portrait by Sandro Botticelli sold for 92 million dollars at auction, a new record for the Italian renaissance painter.

Young Man Holding a Roundel, believed to have been painted in the 1470s, is considered one of Botticelli’s finest portraits. It sold at a Sotheby’s auction in New York, marking the first major indicator of the state of the art market.

Prior to its sale, questions hung over the willingness of global art collectors to pay nine-figure sums for trophy works amid COVID-19 and market volatility.

The Botticelli sale could help boost prices for similar paintings at a time when art collectors are chasing newer works from contemporary artists.

The painting shows a man in his late teenage years with long golden hair sitting holding a disc – the roundel – which features a bearded saint with his right hand raised.

The previous record for a Botticelli was set in 2013 when Madonna and Child with Young Saint John the Baptist sold for 10.4 million dollars.

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