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Sotheby’s puts paintings valued at $100m on public exhibition in Dubai

Sotheby’s puts paintings valued at $100m on public exhibition in Dubai

Two works, one each by Sandro Botticelli and Rembrandt van Rijn, are on exhibition ahead of their auction in New York next month

Botticelli and Rembrandt at Sotheby's Dubai

Auction house Sotheby’s has put two paintings, one each by Sandro Botticelli and Rembrandt van Rijn, with a combined value of $100m on public exhibition in Dubai.

The two paintings will be on public display from 10am-6pm on Wednesday, December 16, at Gate Village Building 3 within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Sotheby’s is exhibiting what is regarded as Florentine master Botticelli’s best portraits, Young Man Holding a Roundel, with an estimate value of over $80m, which will establish rank it among the most significant artworks ever auctioned.

Unveiling of Botticelli and Rembrandt at Sotheby's Dubai
Noura Al Kaabi (third from left) alongside Botticelli’s Young Man Holding a Roundel valued at $80m

Dutch artist Rembrandt 16 x 21cm Abraham and the Angels painting in a panel that dates back to 1646, was last auctioned in London in 1848 for GBP64. It now returns to auction at an estimate of $20-30m.

Of the total 136 biblical paintings Rembrandt produced, Abraham and the Angels is one of only five remaining in private hands, with the majority located in museum collections. In October 2018, Sotheby’s unveiled a rare oil sketch portrait by Rembrandt in Dubai, which was acquired on behalf of the Louvre Abu Dhabi for their permanent collection.

Unveiling of Botticelli and Rembrandt at Sotheby's Dubai
Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth (third from left) alongside Rembrandt’s Abraham and the Angels

Sotheby’s Dubai hosted Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, as their guest of honour on Tuesday, December 14, for a private viewing, reported news agency WAM.

Al Kaabi unveiled the paintings alongside Sotheby’s chairman for the Middle East, Edward Gibbs; Head of Sotheby’s Dubai, Katia Nounou and Sotheby’s Worldwide Co-Chairman of Old Master Paintings and Drawings, George Gordon.

“By giving art lovers in the UAE an opportunity to see ‘in flesh and blood’ the works of these legends, Sotheby’s is immensely enriching our cultural life. I do hope that art lovers from across the country will set aside time to see the masterpieces and truly experience what art critics call ‘Hyperkulturemia,’ the overwhelming sensations that grip one at seeing great works of art,” said Al Kaabi.

Sotheby’s Nounou added:“Exhibiting the highest-estimated Old Master in Sotheby’s history in the heart of Dubai not only reinforces our long-standing commitment to bringing the best of our worldwide offering to the region, but also the standing of the UAE in the global art scene.”

Both the paintings will be offered at auction in New York in January 2021

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