450-year-old Titian painting sells for record $16.9m at NY auction

London, Jan 28 (ANI): A 450-year-old painting by Renaissance master Titian fetched a record 16.9 million dollars on Thursday at a Sotheby's sale of Old Master works in New York.

"A Sacra Conversazione: The Madonna and Child with Saints Luke and Catherine of Alexandria" was the top-priced work during a week of Old Master sales at Sotheby's and rival Christie's, carrying a hefty 15 million dollars to 20 million dollars estimate.

The circa 1560 oil on canvas, one of only a handful of multi-figured compositions by Titian remaining in private hands, went to a European collector bidding on the telephone. The final price was 16,882,500 dollars including commission.

Sotheby's officials said they were "delighted" with the results of the session, at which 75 per cent of the lots on offer found buyers.

George Wachter, worldwide co-chairman of Old Master paintings, cited the record prices achieved by the Titian and another half dozen artists.

"Interest came from all over the world and all over the field, the trade, private collectors and institutions. Clearly, this is a very strong market, particularly for masterworks," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

The Venetian schoolwork was Titian's most important to hit the auction block in two decades, and had not been seen publicly in 30 years until recent exhibitions in Paris, London and Amsterdam.

It has only changed hands six times during its four and one-half century life, Sotheby's said.

The price easily surpassed the artist's auction record of13.6 million dollars and went far towards the total of 78.6 million dollars, which exceeded the $74 million high estimate for the first session of Thursday's two-part sale. (ANI)

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