A portrait of Isabelle de Bourbon, signed Velázquez, estimated at $35 million


The painting, created by the Spanish master in the 1620s, will be the centerpiece of a Sotheby’s sale dedicated to the great masters in New York in February.

A portrait of the Queen of Spain Isabella of Bourbon, made by the Spanish master Diego Velazquez, will be sold at auction in New York in February, announced Sotheby’s, which estimates the work at $35 million.

The New York auction company of Franco-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi explained that this two-meter-high canvas, featuring the daughter of the King of France Henry IV, would be exhibited to the public in London from December 1 to 6, before to be offered at auction in the American megacity on February 1, 2024.

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This exceptional painting is remarkable not only for its beauty and quality but also for its size and its subject, royal portraits.», enthused George Wachter, responsible at Sotheby’s for paintings by the great European masters of the Renaissance, in a press release. “No other Velázquez painting of this size and importance has been on the market for over half a century“, he said. Sotheby’s believes that this portrait Isabella of Bourbon, Queen of Spain could sellaround $35 million“, a price “among the highest quality paintings by old masters on the market» auctions.

Made in the years 1620-1630, during a period of “transformation in the career of Diego Velázquez» (1599-1660), the portrait represents Isabelle de Bourbon (Elisabeth of France before her marriage to the King of Spain Philip IV) around the age of 20, “standing confidently in a dazzling black court dress (…) at the height of her power, like a beloved and respected queen“. She was the daughter of King Henry IV of France and his second wife Marie de Medici.

The work of the Spanish genius of Baroque painting, famous for Las Meninas (1656), was exhibited for decades in a royal palace in Madrid before landing at the Louvre at the beginning of the 19th century, then being sold to dealers and collectors until an auction in 1950 and being among the hands of their current owners since 1978, according to Sotheby’s. This house and its competitor Christie’s, from the French billionaire’s Artémis holding company Francois Pinaultconcluded their fall auction season in mid-November in New York, with a cumulative amount of two billion dollars in sales.



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