Titian masterpiece sets auction record at Christie’s, fetching $22.2m

Christie’s Classic Week evening sales in London on Tuesday—Old Masters Part I Sale and The Exceptional Sale—achieved a combined total of nearly $65 million, per artnews.com. The centerpiece of the event, Titian’s “Rest on the Flight into Egypt” (c.1510), set a new auction record for the artist, fetching $22,178,280 (including buyer’s premium).

The wooden panel painting, which measures 18 inches by 25 inches and portrays Mary cradling Jesus with Joseph looking on, was initially estimated to sell for $20-30 million. Last auctioned by Christie’s in 1878 and acquired by the 4th Marquess of Bath, the artwork has passed through some of Europe’s most prestigious collections. Before the sale, Christie’s described it as “one of the last religious works from the artist’s celebrated early years to remain in private hands.”

Ceawlin Thynn, the 8th Marquess of Bath, and the Longleat Trustees offered the painting to Christie’s as part of their long-term investment strategy. Orlando Rock, chairman of Christie’s UK, hailed it as “one of the most poetic products of Titian’s youth,” highlighting its impeccable provenance, including ownership by dukes, archdukes, and holy Roman emperors. The painting, notable for being stolen twice, was recovered in London in 2002 after its 1995 theft from the Longleat Estate.

Titian’s previous auction record was $16.9 million for *A Sacra Conversazione* (c.1560), sold by Sotheby’s New York in 2011.


  • Featurwd image: ‘The Rest on the Flight into Egypt’ (c.1510) by Titian.

Courtesy Christie’s


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