A Titian original of Madonna and Child has sold for $16.9m (£10.7m) in New York, setting a new auction record for the Renaissance master.
The 450 year old painter was sold at Sotheby’s to a European telephone bidder, beating the previous Titian auction record of £7.5m paid at Christie’s in London in 1991 for the artist’s Venus and Adonis painting.
A Sacra Conversazione: The Madonna and Child with Saints Luke and Catherine of Alexandria was painted around 1560 and had changed hands only six times during its life.
A Sotheby spokeswoman said A Sacra Conversazione was “one of only a handful of multi figured compositions by Titian that remain in private hands.”
She added that the masterpiece was “the most important to appear at auction in decades.”
Prior to recent exhibitions in London, Paris and Amsterdam, the painting had not been seen publicly for 30 years.
The National Gallery in London and the National Galleries of Scotland launched a joint appeal in 2008 to buy a pair of Titian paintings for £50m each.
Reaching their target, the painting Diana and Actaeon was able to be bought, while funds are currently being sought after to secure its partner, Diana and Callisto.