Elizabeth Taylor Frans Hals rare art - recently identified - auctions in London

As with her fellow late Hollywood legend Dennis Hopper, much discussion has been made about Elizabeth Taylor's lifelong passion for art collecting since her death in 2011.

Before the year was out, Taylor's jewellery became the 'most expensive' ever auctioned when it sold for $115.9m at Christie's.

Meanwhile, everything from Andy Warhol lithographs featuring Taylor to strands of her hair - which you can buy for as little as £49.95 - have massive appeal for collectors.

Now collectors have a chance to delve into Liz's extensive collection of 17th-20th century art pieces when they appear for sale in London between February 7-8.

Taylor (whose father was a London art dealer) owned many exceptional art rarities which are now up for sale including, as we previously reported, Van Gogh's art landscape "Vue de l'Asile et de la Chapelle de Saint-Remy".

Also for sale is a fine taster of the luxury in which Taylor lived her life: a 17th century portrait which once hung over the fireplace in the star's Bel Air home.

portrait of a man franz hals

'Portrait of a Man' by Franz Hals dates to the early 1630s

The artwork was only recently attributed to the Dutch master Frans Hals. Back in 1974, Hals academic Seymour Slive said it was "doubtful" that the work was by the artist.

According to art expert Nicholas Hall, the work "academically fell off the radar" after being acquired by Taylor.

Its provenance was confirmed last summer when Pieter Biesboer, retired curator of Old Master paintings at the Frans Hals Museum in Holland, verified the work.

"From 20 yards away one could tell that it was an utterly authentic Hals, a totally characteristic picture with all the bravura, brushwork ... the very expressive face," said Hall.

It will undoubtedly draw plenty of interest. But you'll need to be prepared to spend around $700,000-$1m if you'd like to own the painting yourself.

Watch this space for more news on the sale of Elizabeth Taylor's art collection.

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