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Monday, 29 July 2013 18:21

Britain Lifts Export Ban on Raphael Drawing

British authorities have lifted the export ban on Raphael’s drawing Head of a Young Apostle. The Old Master work will go to Leon Black, a New York-based billionaire who paid $47.9 million for it at Sotheby’s London in December 2012. The drawing, which was created between 1519 and 1520, was a study for the artist’s revered painting The Transfiguration, which resides in the Vatican’s collection.

The UK’s arts minister Ed Vaizey quickly placed the work under an export ban following the sale, which broke the auction record for a work on paper. The point of the ban was to provide enough time for an interested buyer to raise the money necessary to keep the drawing in the country. The ban expired on July 3, 2013 and was not extended.

Britain has recently employed a number of export bans on culturally significant works. Two pieces, which were purchased by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, are currently being held in the U.K. Officials are waiting to see if any buyers will step forward for a rare 15th century Flemish manuscript titled Roman de Gillion de Trazignes and Rembrandt Laughing, a self-portrait by the Dutch master. The Getty paid $5.8 million and $25 million for the works respectively.

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Friday, 05 April 2013 16:24

Export Ban Placed on Raphael Drawing

A temporary export bar has been placed on a drawing by Raphael (1483-1520) titled Head of a Young Apostle. The Renaissance masterpiece, which is worth upwards of $47 million, is one of finest works held in a British private collection.

The drawing has been a part of the Duke of Devonshire’s collection at Chatsworth since the 1700s and was sold at Sotheby’s in December for $47.8 million, nearly three times the drawing’s low estimate. The Raphael work, which broke the auction record for a work on paper, was sold to benefit the Chatsworth’s long-term future and that of its collections. The UK’s arts minister, Ed Vaizey, hopes that an export bar will provide enough time for an interested buyer to raise the money necessary to keep the drawing in the country.

Head of a Young Apostle was created between 1519 and 1521 as a study for one of the figures in Raphael’s final painting, the Vatican’s The Transfiguration.

 

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At Sotheby’s London’s Evening Sale of Old Master & British Paintings on December 5, a rare drawing by Raphael set a new record for the artist at auction. A masterpiece in black chalk, Head of a Young Apostle (circa 1519-20), has been part of the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth since 1720 and features one of the key figures in the artist’s final work, Transfiguration, a celebrated painting from the Renaissance, which is now in Rome’s Vatican Museum.

Amid a considerable amount of bidding both in the auction room and on the telephone, Head of a Young Apostle sold for $47.8 million, nearly three times the drawing’s low estimate of $16 million to $24 million. Gregory Rubenstein, Worldwide Head of Old Master Drawings at Sotheby’s, said, “A number of the world’s greatest collectors stepped up tonight in recognition of the genius of Raphael and the extraordinary beauty of this drawing.”

The sale proves that the market is still prime for Old Master works. Head of a Young Apostle is one of three exceptional Raphael drawings to appear at auction in the past 50 years; each work has set an all-time sale record for an Old Master drawing. This particular sale is the highest price paid at a European auction in 2012 and is the second highest Old Master sale to date. The first is Peter Paul Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents, which sold for $76.7 million at Sotheby’s in 2002.

Sotheby’s Old Master sale realized almost $94 million and sold 74.5% by lot.

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