Caravaggio's Boy Peeling Fruit stars at $5m in Old Masters Week

Boy Peeling Fruit, the earliest Caravaggio work known to have survived, will provide one of the spectacular highlights of Christie's Old Masters Week in New York.

Caravaggio Boy Peeling Fruit
With the work well known to collectors and one of just a few Caravaggios remaining in private hands, Boy Peeling Fruit can expect big bids

The event runs from January 27-29, with a trio of sales focusing on art spanning four centuries. The Caravaggio work comes as part of the Old Master Paintings: Part I sale, and is valued at $3m-5m.

It is incredibly rare for a Caravaggio work of such stature to come to auction, with many now housed in institutional collections. Boy Peeling Fruit is well known to the art world, and is believed to have been painted while the master was still a student in Milan.

There are several known copies of the work, with the original likely the example in the British Royal Collection. This example is likely the version that was part of the collection of art historian Roberto Longhi (1890-1970).

"We are proud to be bringing to market a remarkable group of Old Master paintings spanning four centuries of artistic achievement," commented Christie's Nicholas HJ Hall, co-chairman of old master and 19th century art.

The Renaissance sale will be held on January 28, led by a rare portrait by Agnolo Bronzino, the famous master behind some of Florence's most famous works of art.

Portrait of a young man with a book is valued at $8m-12m, and will lead a group of Renaissance portraits.

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