A self-portrait by Rembrandt has been sold for 14.5 million pounds ($18.7 million) at a Sotheby’s virtual auction Tuesday, July 28 – a record price for this genre of painting by the Dutch genius, the auctioneer’s said.
“Self portrait wearing a ruff and black hat,” from 1632 when the painter was aged 26, was sought by six bidders, the Auction House said. Prior to the sales it was evaluated between 12 to 16 million pounds. The last self-portrait by Rembrandt to appear at auction was sold for 6.9 million pounds in 2003, Sotheby’s added.
The sold masterpiece was one of only three self-portraits by the painter to remain in private hands, and “the only one ever likely to come to auction.” It measures about 22 by 16 centimeters, or about 8 by 6 inches.
The sale was part of a live-streamed global auction featuring 70 pieces of artwork spanning five centuries of art history, from Rembrandt to Picasso, and from Joan Miró to Banksy. The event saw staff from the auction house’s New York, London and Hong Kong offices energetically communicting and whispering into phones as bidders attempted to outdo each other.