El Greco's Saint Dominic sets auction record at $13.9m

Sotheby's has seen a new auction record for the work of El Greco, after his Saint Dominic in Prayer sold with outstanding results as part of its Old Master and British Paintings Evening Sale.

El Greco Saint Dominic
 El Greco's Saint Dominic in Prayer now holds the artist's world record

The July 3 sale in London was the first time that two El Greco masterpieces had been offered in the same auction in living memory, stirring excitement among discerning collectors.

This excitement pushed Saint Dominic in Prayer to a final price of £9.1m ($13.9m), beating its £5m high estimate by 82%.

The price represents a 139.4% increase on the previous El Greco record, which was set at £3.8m ($5.8m) by a reduced autograph version of the artist's Christ on the Cross at Sotheby's in 2000.

Saint Dominic in Prayer is one of El Greco's finest depictions of a saint. Showing the peaceful saint against transcendental surroundings, the piece reflects the dualism between heaven and earth - a concept that preoccupied much of El Greco's career.

There are only four known versions of this composition, with the remaining three embedded in institutional collections in Spain and the US.

El Greco Christ on the Cross
A smaller version of Christ on the Cross previously held the record for El Greco's work

Also starring in the sale was a large-scale example of Christ on the Cross, which sold for £3.4m ($5.2m) against a £3m-5m estimate. The work is one of just three surviving examples of the work on this scale, with its Christ figure inspired by a drawing by Michelangelo.

Paul Fraser Collectibles will be bringing you more results from this week's old masters sales shortly, so be sure to visit our Art & Photography news section.

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