I had the pleasure a few days ago of going to Christie’s auction house just off St James’ Square. The entrance wasn’t hard to find. As I turned the corner, even from the end of the street you could clearly see the hordes of expectant people waiting to go in.
What had drawn us there? Something quite rare and magical. It’s the last Da Vinci painting in private hands. On November 14th it will go up for sale and, before that, it’s going to make whistle stop tours in Hong Kong and San Franscio.
It is a painting I was fortunate to see once before at the 2012 Painter at the Court of Milan exhibition at the National Gallery. There are really powerful echoes for me with the Durer self-portrait in the Alte-Pinakothek in Munich.
To read more, just click on the link to the in depth study by Christie’s. The ringlets in the hair, the hand pointed skyward and the fabulously rendered cloth are something I could have looked at for hours.
I came away with two thoughts – one more a wish. Firstly, that we are so fortunate here in London to have some of the major art events like this. Secondly, a hope that the painting, which will no doubt be sold for record sums, goes not back into private hands but instead to a world class museum so that many more people can continue to enjoy it.