A painting by the Italian artist Sandro Botticelli has been sold at auction in New York for around 45 million dollars after a fiery bidding war.
Three bidders were vying for the painting for about seven minutes, the auction house Sotheby's said on Thursday. However, it was not initially disclosed who finally bought the Renaissance artwork.
Painted in the late 15th or early 16th century, "The Man of Sorrows" is a portrait of Jesus Christ in a crown of thorns with his hands and wrists bound by rope. It was previously part of a private collection.
About a year ago, Sotheby's auctioned the Botticelli's "Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Roundel" for 92.2 million dollars. Never before has so much been paid at auction for a work by the Italian painter.
According to the auction house, there are only about a dozen known Botticelli portraits worldwide, only a few of which are privately owned.