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1 Jul, 2007 22:15

Raphael masterpiece goes on sale in London

A masterpiece by Raphael is going under the hammer at Christie's auction house in London at a sale of ‘Old Masters and British Pictures’. It is one of only a handful of paintings by the Italian artist to remain in private hands and it hasn't been availabl

The work portrays Lorenzo de Medici, Duke of Urbino and a ruler of Florence from 1513 till 1519.The starting price of the Renaissance picture is $US 20 MLN.

It was painted in Rome and is believed to be the Duke's wedding portrait.

Lorenzo de Medici is wearing his finest clothes and is holding a small portrait of his future wife.

The picture was sold in New York, in 1968, to art dealer Ira Spanierman – the current owner.

“It's a remarkable opportunity in one’s career to have a painting by Raphael. Paintings by Raphael simply don’t come to the market. There are just a handful of them,” said Richard Knight from Christie’s Old Master Paintings Department.