Francisco Goya drawing could make $1.5m

A work by Francisco Goya (1746-1828) is to lead the sale of the Howard and Saretta Barnet collection of drawings at Sotheby’s.

The works featured span 500 years, from the 16th century through to the 1980s.

 Goya Old Woman

Goya produced hundreds of drawings that he never exhibited

The Goya is titled No llenas tanto la cesta (Don't fill the basket so full) and shows an elderly woman clutching a brace of eggs, some of which have fallen to the floor.

The illustration is from a series of albums Goya produced late in his career.

Sotheby’s explains: “During the last thirty years of his life, he drew some 550 sheets, collected into eight albums, which in the most intimate way describe Goya’s vision of humanity, with freedom of imagination and unequalled power of expression.

“The album drawings, generally of a totally spontaneous nature, are therefore a form of ‘visual journal’, not intended to be seen by the general public, like the artist’s prints or paintings, but only to be shared with an intimate and private circle of friends.”

Original Goyas are rare at auction. This example is valued at up to $1.5m.

Lucian Freud’s Portrait of Balthus (1989) is expected to reach $70,000-90,000.

Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (aka Balthus) was a controversial painter who served as a mentor to Freud in his early years.

Freud’s work is in increasing demand, following on from the record £35m ($47.5m) paid for his celebrated painting Fat Sue in 2015.

The auction will take place in New York on January 31.

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