Italian Renaissance painter Raphael’s drawing named the ‘Head of an Apostle’ sketch has become the most expensive sketch in the world, after it was sold for $48 million at an art auction. This art auction was the Sotheby’s sale of ‘Old Master and British Paintings’, which saw the sale of numerous other rare sketches and paintings.
Raphael's sketch 'Head of an Apostle'
Born as Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, Raphael became famous for his renaissance paintings and sketches in the 1500s. His artwork is admired by connoisseurs for its clarity of form and ease of composition, and for the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur, which it portrayed. Raphael had a large painting studio, and made many drawings and paintings during his short life span: he died in 1520, at the young age of 37. As everyone know, paintings and artwork become more valued upon the death of the artist...mainly because high demand and scarcity push the price up...and so did the price of Raphael's work.
The ‘Head of an Apostle’ sketch by Raphael is a study drawing, for his last painting which was called the ‘Transfiguration’. This painting is currently exhibited in the Vatican Museum in Rome. Raphael’s ‘Head of an Apostle’ sketch features one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, with his head slightly turned away, to shield the bright light emitted during the Transfiguration of Jesus.
Raphael's Transfiguration masterpiece painting
However, when I viewed Raphael's Transfiguration painting, I could not find the apostle with his head turned to one side, as shown in the sketch. Maybe Raphael modified the apostle's head later, so that it looks different. Artists do that all the time.
This 48 million dollar sketch measures around 15 inches by 11 inches, and is drawn in black chalk. It came from the majestic art collection at Chatsworth, the ancestral home of the 12th Duke of Devonshire. Proceeds from the sale are expected to be used to maintain the Duke’s estate, and his other paintings and art pieces.
Sotheby's staff moving the frame with the expensive drawing
What do you think of Raphael's sketch? Would you pay $48 million to own a masterpiece sketch or painting like this one?