Meet the Painting Fit for a Queen Isabel
There’s a special royal portrait up for grabs, painted by the Spanish artist Diego Velázquez. It’s not just any portrait; it’s a full-length masterpiece featuring Queen Isabel de Borbón, the wife of Spain’s King Philip IV. Imagine a grand painting capturing the essence of a queen in her prime, and you’ve got this gem.
A Royal Price Tag
Sotheby’s, the famous auction house, expects this royal artwork (Queen Isabel potrait) to fetch a whopping $35 million! Yes, you read that right. It’s heading to auction in February 2024 at Sotheby’s New York, and art enthusiasts and history buffs are already buzzing with excitement.
The Queen Isabel in Her Glory
The queen in question, Isabel de Borbón, is also known as Elisabeth of France or Isabella of Bourbon. She was no ordinary queen—smart and generous, she ruled Spain alongside King Philip IV. Velázquez captured her essence in her 20s, wearing a lavish black court dress that screams sophistication and power.
A Brush with Greatness
The Queen Isabel picture wasn’t just one thing. Velázquez painted it for the first time in the late 1620s and then again in 1631. Why did they come back? Well, Velázquez was moved to study the Italian masters after meeting the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens. And don’t forget the fashion change—Isabel’s outfit was redone, and you can even see the outline of her skirt has changed.
An Important Moment of Change
Christopher Apostle, who is in charge of Old Master Paintings at Sotheby’s around the world, thinks that this painting shows how Velázquez changed over time. Even though the artist has gotten a lot of praise, this piece shows a time when their work changed and grew.
A Trip Through Time
It’s quite a story how the picture became a royal treasure. King Philip put it on show at the Buen Retiro palace in Madrid after he made it. When Napoleon invaded France in 1808 it made its way to the Louvre and looked beautiful there. After that, art lovers bought it and took it to England, where it finally ended up in the collection of its current owners in 1978.
A Rare Show in Public
This royal picture is being shown to the public for the first time in fifty years. The art piece is on show at Sotheby’s on London’s New Bond Street until December 6. People in London who are interested in art or history can see history being made.
Around the world to New York
It will first be shown in London, and then it will sail to New York for a pre-sale show. The bid war for this royal work will start on February 1, when the big event is set to happen.
Fit for a Record
The estimated $35 million price tag is making waves. It’s more than double the current auction record for a Velázquez work. If all goes as expected, this royal portrait might just make history, surpassing the artist’s previous auction records.
So, if you’ve got a spare $35 million lying around, and you fancy owning a piece of royal history, mark your calendar for February 2024. The royal masterpiece awaits its next chapter in the hands of a fortunate bidder.