Original rare drawing by Italian Renaissance master Michelangelo Buonarroti is expected to fetch £3-5 million ($5-8 million), when it goes under the hammer at the auction house, Christie’s, on July 5. Thedrawing is one of only 24 sheets relating to The Battle of Cascina, an uncompleted work described by the auction house as one of the greatest Western masterpieces that never was.
The sketch was created for a fresco at Florence’s Sala del Gran Consiglio in 1504, shortly after Michelangelo began work on a major commission to commemorate Florentine civic virtue. At the same time, Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint the Battle of Anghiari of 1440 on an opposite wall. Neither piece was completed and only survived through engravings and sketches.
The only time this Michelangelo’s drawing has been seen in public was in Vienna last year. Now, it will be auctioned at Christie’s Old Masters and British Paintings sale on July 5 in London. [Cristie’s]