A pen drawing sold for $ 30 at a real estate sale in Concord is believed to be the work of Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer, and some believe it could be worth $ 50 million in the market. After having been entrusted to the Agnews Gallery in London which offers it for sale, the drawing will return to the United States next week.
The drawing, “The Virgin and Child with a Flower on a Grass Bench”, will be exhibited for the first time in the United States during Master Drawings New York, which will take place from January 21 to 29. The exhibition is part of an Agnews exhibition entitled “Dürer and his time”, which focuses on the recently discovered drawing. It will be held at the Colnaghi Gallery and coincides with Master Drawings – an annual week-long event that includes pop-up exhibitions from notable art dealers in Europe and presentations by top New York scholars in private galleries. , according to event site.
The Agnews Gallery New York exhibition aims to examine “how this Renaissance artist was one of the pioneers in creating a self-shaped identity,” according to an emailed statement from the gallery. Other works by Dürer (1471-1528) will also be exhibited to “contextualize the layers of the artist brand and its status during its lifetime, ”the statement said. The exhibition will feature a copper portrait of Philipp Melanchthon – on loan from Friedenstein Palace in Germany – and the only known copper engraving of Dürer still in existence.
Dürer is recognized “not only as the greatest German artist of his time, but also as one of the most important artists and intellectuals of the European Renaissance,” the gallery said, noting that his works were celebrated by princes and emperors, and that he was held in “unrivaled esteem” by his fellow artists.
The recently rediscovered design has generated “serious interest” from major museums and major private collectors around the world, Anthony Critchton-Stuart, director of the Agnews Gallery, said in an email to The Globe. Dürer’s works only appear on the open market with “extreme rarity,” according to the gallery’s statement. The last time a Dürer design went on sale was in 1978, when it sold for around $ 1.3 million.
“No other work of the artist of this importance has come on the market since and it remains the highest price for Dürer at auction to this day,” Agnews Gallery said.
The record-breaking price for an auctioned Northern Renaissance work was Raphael’s “Head of a Muse”, which sold for $ 47.5 million in 2009. Some art historians believe that “The Virgin with ‘child’ could bring in a record sum. The drawing was the subject of a roundtable discussion in December at the British Museum, where it was examined by specialists in the field along with other works by Dürer.
The New York exhibition is being organized with the help of Giulia Bartrum, a leading authority on Dürer, according to Agnews.