Would you buy a Botticelli? It’s not that difficult. Christies South Kensington organises today an auction of Old Master, many of them Italian, that will go under the hammer. And surprisingly prices are not that crazy as anyone could think. The Botticelli, a beautiful tondo in perfect conditions whose owner is a misterious Englishman, goes obviously for a seven figures price. But if you fancy a piece of Italian art for your personal collection, there are real catches that go from £3,000 onwards.
‘Italian art is always very sought after’. Ilaria Lefebvre D’Ovidio from Christies explains. ‘We have huge Venice views, by Canaletto or other painters, that are always very easy to sold, no matter the price. They are the 18th and 19th century postcards. When Englishmen toured Italy they used to bring back Italian landscapes to prove they had visited the country’.
Italian Old Masters are always in fashion and buyers are mainly British or foreigners. ‘We have a beautiful medieval scene painted on wood and a piece that was believed to be by Raffaello for many years. Now we know it’s by another painter and its price has gone down’.
The best piece? ‘My favourite is a Diana and Endymion by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (1675), simply perfect’.