A previously lost work by Francesco de Goya entitled Lot and his Daughters will highlight an important old masters sale on September 21 in Zurich.
Works from Goya are rarely seen at auction, with fewer than 10 pieces by the famed Spaniard appearing in the last 20 years. Of those, the item in the current sale is said by the auction house to be the most important, as a fantastic masterpiece from his early career.
The piece was last seen at auction more than 80 years ago, when it was sold from a private collection in Bilbao. It has since remained with the buyer's family, who were unaware of its creator or significance, and was only rediscovered in a recent review of their estate. It depicts a classic biblical scene in Genesis, where Lot and his daughters shelter in a cave while the burning of Sodom lights up the sky behind them.
Estimated at $614,000-818,000, the work will provide the auction's top lot and will undoubtedly attract global attention. In 2008, a previously lost sketch set the world record for a Goya work on paper, selling for $3.4m at Christie's.
The work can expect its value to be heightened as collectors clamour for important old master works. After John Constable's The Lock sold for £22.4m at Christie's at the beginning of July, a frenzy of old masters sales ensued, boosting the Mei Moses Old Masters Index by 5.4% in the first-half of 2012.
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