Virgin Mary painting Expected to Sell for $40 M. at Christie’s

A Sandro Botticelli Painting of the Virgin Mary, Once Owned by the Microsoft Cofounder Paul Allen Will Be Auctioned Christie’s This November.

Oct 9, 2022By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
 Virgin Mary painting
Via Wikipedia


Works by Vincent Van Gogh, Lucian Freud, Jasper Johns, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O’Keefe, and other major artists, are a part of the $1 billion collection of Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. With this in mind, the auction will take place at Christie’s this fall. Expectations are that “The Virgin Mary” will fetch more than $40 million, making it one of the most expensive works of Allen’s estate.


The Virgin Mary, imposing and intimate

Via Fine Art America


News of Allen’s estate coming to auction is first reported in August, who’s always been very discreet about his collection. Also, this auction could be the most prized sale of a single owner collection ever to come to auction. Allen designated his sister Jody Allen as sole executor of his estate.


The sale proceeds will go toward philanthropic causes Allen established before he passed away in 2018. The Virgin Mary (Madonna of the Magnificat) will appear next to pieces by Seurat and Van Gogh, which could sell for more than $100 million.


“This is an image that defines the popular notion of Botticelli as an artist,” Christie’s London-based Old Masters specialist Andrew Fletcher said. She also described the painting as “imposing and intimate.”


Microsoft Cofounder Paul Allen

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Botticelli produced “Madonna of the Magnificat” in the late 1480s. Allan possessed this painting since 1999, when he acquired it privately for an undisclosed price. The painting was often displayed in museums. The last one was in 2020 exhibition “Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Seattle Museum of Art.”


If Madonna of the Magnificat reaches its estimate at this auction, it will be among the top three works by the artist to sell.

A Huge Variety of Works, From Old Masters to Modern Artists

Via Wikimedia Commons
You can find Rothko’s 1956 abstraction Yellow Over Purple or $14.3 million. Orange and Yellow were quite large in the 1950s. Rothko asked viewers to stand close so that he could be visually surrounded by the colours. His goal was for colour to “express basic human emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom”.
Second in line is Gauguin’s 1899 canvas Maternity II for $39.2 million. He completed the painting around the time that Gauguin’s 17-year-old Polynesian mistress, Pahura, gave birth to the couple’s son in April 1899. The figure nursing the baby at the bottom-right of the composition symbolizes this event. The two attendants holding their bounty of maiore fruit and flowers reiterate the beauty and abundance of nature.
Via Wikimedia Commons
There is also Gustav Klimt’s Birch Forest from 1903, a landscape scene featuring a wooded area covered in orange leaves, is another of the high-valued works, estimated at more than $90 million. Allen paid $40 million for it in 2006.
Claude Monet’s lavender riverscape, Waterloo Bridge, soleil voile (1899–1903), is expected to bring in an excess of $60 million. Also on offer is Lucian Freud’s Large Interior W11 (after Watteau), from 1981–83, that carries an estimate of $75 million.
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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.