Raphael's Head of a Muse may sell for more than $20 million, the art auction house Christie's International announced today.
That's a record sale for an old master drawing, Reuters reported. The 12-inch-high drawing by the Italian Renaissance master has such a high value because of what it may have been used for: his 1511 The Parnassus fresco in the Vatican's Stanza della Segnatura.
The Christie's International auction for Head of a Muse will take place December 8. The record for an old master drawing now stands at $13.2 million, according to Reuters. Art collectors paid that amount for Michelangelo's The Risen Christ in 2000, and for Leonardo da Vinci's Horse and Rider in 2001.
In 2007, Christie's sold a 1518 Raphael painting of Lorenzo di Piero de'Medici for $37.2 million, according to The New York Times.
James Christie founded Christie's auction house in 1766, and today it runs 450 auctions a year. Christie's sells fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles and wine at prices ranging from $200 to over $80 million.