Peter Paul Rubens drawing valued at $700,000

Christie’s will offer a work by the great Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) in its sale of old master drawings on January 24.

It’s titled “Scipio Africanus welcomed outside the gates of Rome (after Giulio Romano)” and is believed to date to sometime around 1620.

Rubens Sciopo Africanus

Peter Paul Rubens holds the record for an old master painting at auction

Romano (1499-1546) was an earlier Italian painter, whose work Rubens much admired.

The present composition is based on a tapestry by Romano, which has since been lost.

Rubens regularly copied the work of other artists in order to learn the secrets of their techniques.

The lot is expected to make around $500,000-700,000.

Rubens is at the top end of the market for old masters, following the sale of his The Master of the Innocents for a record £49.5m ($76.5m) in 2002.

It's the most valuable old master painting sold at auction by a large margin.

His drawings offer a chance for his admirers to acquire a piece of his work at a substantially lower cost, but demand is high. Hence the sale of a pen and ink piece titled Samson & Delilah for $3.2m in 2014.

The auction house will hold a sale of old master prints the following day (January 25).

Titian’s The Submission of Pharaoh’s Army in the Red Sea (circa 1514-1515) will be the headliner, with an estimate of $200,000-300,000.

The monumental piece is printed from 12 separate woodblocks and measures over two metres across.

You can check out Sotheby's Old Master Week sales here. 

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