Sotheby's estimates Titian's 'monumental' Madonna with child at $20m

A monumental work by the Venetian master painter Titian (pictured top right in a self-portrait c1567) is set to go under the hammer at Sotheby's in New York, after more than 30 years out of the public eye.

According to reports, the work is being sold by Gerlinda Klisters. She is the widow of Heinz Klisters, a Switzerland-based German businessman and prolific art collector who bought the work in 1956.

Klisters' extensive collection of old masters is said to contain at least two other Titians. The artist's depiction of Madonna with child alongside St Catherine will auction estimated at $15m-$20m.

The work, which also features Titian's depiction of St Catherine, is to be displayed by Sotheby's in Paris, London and Amsterdam before finally auctioning in the Big Apple in January.

Titled A Sacra Conversazione, the painting was last exhibited in Geneva in 1978. It is hoped that the work will surpass the £7.5m realised by Titian's Venus and Adonis at Christie's London in 1991.

That piece can now be found in the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. A Sacra Conversazione will also undoubtedly be sold as a Museum-piece when it auctions next year.


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