Titian’s Saint Margaret painting could make $3m

Titian’s Saint Margaret, a work that once belonged to King Charles I, will appear in Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings evening sale on February 1.

Charles was an impassioned art lover, who regularly travelled to Europe to seek out pieces for his collection.

Titian Saint Margaret

Titian painted Saint Margaret with the help of his workshop 

We know that this painting, showing the martyr Saint Margaret escaping the clutches of Satan, was among the king’s favourites.

Records show it hung in the finest of his personal chambers in Whitehall Palace.

It’s one of two versions and the only one left on the market.

Alexander Bell, co-chair of Sotheby’s old master department, said: “The inventories and valuations of Charles I’s collection compiled mainly in 1649 are unique documents that provide fascinating insights into the relative value of the works at this particular moment in time.

“The inventories record Saint Margaret at £100 – a little less than the more celebrated paintings by Titian, such as Venus with an Organist (Prado, Madrid) at £150 and the Allegory of Alfonso d’Avalos (Louvre, Paris) at £250, but more than the vast majority of works in the 3 enormous and storied collection, including the now-world-famous Salvator Mundi by Leonardo Da Vinci at £30.”

That’s the same Salvator Mundi that sold for a world record $450.3m last year.

That shift is driven in part by Da Vinci’s celebrity, but also by the rarity of his works on the market. Paintings by Titian are far more readily available.

This time around, Saint Margaret is expected to reach a respectable $2m-3m.

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