An Italian painter of the High Renaissance, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino “Raphael” was renowned for his work admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. And, together with Italian Renaissance legends like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period. Enormously productive, this Renaissance master who died back in 1520 at the age of 37, use to create drawings in his unusually large workshop. Now one of Raphael’s drawings, the 16th century “Head of an Apostle” which is a study for Raphael’s last painting “Transfiguration” which is on display at the Vatican Museum in Rome, has been sold for $47.9 million at Sotheby’s sale of ‘Old Master & British Paintings’ setting a record for a drawing in art history .
Drawn in black chalk and measuring roughly 15 inches by 11 inches, this extraordinary drawing ‘Head of an Apostle’ which carries along an exceptional provenance notably attracted a number of world’s greatest collectors.
This Raphael’s drawing was actually from the collection at Chatsworth, the ancestral home of the 12th Duke of Devonshire, and it’s expected that proceeds of the sale will go towards the upkeep of the estate.
Notably, another Raphael’s drawing of the same calibre, the ‘Head of a Muse’ (pictured above) which is a black chalk drawing on paper was sold by Christie’s for a whopping $47.9 million, setting a record in auction history, back in 2009. The Head of a Muse drawing is the second most expensive drawing in the auction history.