A rediscovered painting by Francesco de Goya has topped an auction of old master paintings held on September 21 in Zurich.
Prior to the sale, the work was heralded as the most important of only 10 major Goya paintings to have appeared on the market in the past 20 years. This particular piece was last seen at auction more than 80 years ago, when it was sold from the Linker collection in Bilbao.
Since that sale the painting had remained within a private collection; its owners unaware of the artist behind it or its significance to his career - the piece's true worth was only revealed in a recent review of their estate. The work shows a popular biblical scene from Genesis, where Lot and his daughters shelter in a cave while the burning of Sodom illuminates the sky behind them.
A masterpiece of Goya's early career, Lot and his Daughters achieved a 248.4% increase on its $818,000 high estimate, selling for $2.8m. The current record for his work at auction stands with a previously lost sketch, which sold for $3.4m at Christie's in 2008.
The auction represents even further success for the old master market, which saw a 5.4% increase in the first half of 2012 according to the Mei Moses art index.
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