Christie’s will auction a rare Caravaggio painting in New York later this month as part of Old Masters Week.
Boy peeling a fruit depicts a young boy sitting at a table peeling an orange. It was painted in 1591, shortly after the arrival of the Lombard artist in Rome. Its auction price is estimated between 3 and 5 million dollars, but specialists are predicting an even higher price.
As the majority of artworks by Caravaggio are in public or private collections, it is extremely rare for its paintings, especially when of such quality and provenance, to be auctioned.
In the late 18th century, the painting belonged to Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), the most prominent English portrait painters of his era. Boy peeling a fruit has a remarkable exhibition history. In 1985, it was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York during the retrospective "The Age of Caravaggio", which then toured to the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte in Naples. In 2001, it was included in the exhibition "The Genius of Rome" at London's Royal Academy and Rome's Palazzo Venezia.
The auction for Boy peeling a fruit will be held on January 28.
During the event, Christie’s will auction one more prestigious painting by an Italian artist, Portrait of a Young Man with a Book, by Agnolo Bronzino, estimated between 8 to 12 million dollars.