Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum has bought the magnificent Bacchic Figure Supporting the Globe by Dutch master sculptor Adrien de Vries for a record sum.
The sculpture marks a new world record for the artist, selling at $28.7m through Christie's on December 11 in New York. Considered a masterpiece, the sculpture was recently discovered to the excitement of the art community.
With Adrien de Vries described as the "Dutch Michelangelo" and the most important bronze sculptor working in Europe in his day, the piece is an important find, dating to the final year of his life (1626).
It stood for more than 300 years in the centre of a pool in a schloss courtyard, unrecognised as a work by De Vries.
The iconography of the work is unusual, as the standing figure supporting the globe immediately brings to mind Atlas or even Hercules, however the grape vines and pan pipes at the base suggest Bacchus.
The last time such a major work by De Vries appeared on the market was in 1989, with The Dancing Fawn selling for the previous record sum of £6.8m ($10.6m).
The piece will return to the Rijksmuseum, which bought the sculpture with the help of the Rembrandt Society. This will be the first time that a De Vries work has been shown in the Netherlands.
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