A new world record price was set for the work of Girolamo Romanino at Christie's Old Master Paintings sale in New York yesterday (June 6).
Romanino's Christ Carrying the Cross featured as the star lot of the sale, which also saw an auction record for Philippe de Champaigne's The Holy Family at $578,500.
Christ Carrying the Cross is a characteristic representation of Romanino's style at the height of his artistic maturity and is considered one of the most effective and moving depictions of the iconic biblical scene ever created in 16th century Italian art.
Nicholas Hall, co-chairman of Old Masters and 19th century art at Christie's, commented: "Romanino's Christ Carrying the Cross is a masterpiece of the Italian High Renaissance, which could hang in any major museum: a picture of this importance by the artist has not been available on the market for more than a decade."
The work went to auction with a pre-sale valuation of $2.5m-3.5m, but soared past this to a realisation of $4.5m. The price represents a 30.3% increase on estimate for Romanino's masterpiece, as well as a 13.72% pa increase on the previous world record for his work, which was set at $512,502 at Christie's in 1996.
Elsewhere in the sale, an unusual pair of paintings from Hubert Robert achieved another impressive increase of 56.1%, when they sold for $1.87m against an estimate of $800,000-1.2m. The two landscapes are the only extant circular paintings in the artist's spectacular body of work.
The auction marked yet another success for Christie's art, with a total realisation of $12.5m.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb range of collectible artworks, including this original autographed drawing from Salvador Dali.