Tuesday 10 June 2014

Vermeer For Sale

Believe it or not, this painting of Saint Praxedis (1655) is by Johannes Vermeer. It's a very early work, inspired by the Florentine artist Felice Ficherelli. The Dutch master was only 22 or 23 years old when he painted it and he hadn't developed his characteristic style. Saint Praxedis cared for the bodies of Christian martyrs in the second century A.D. Here she is depicted squeezing a sponge soaked in martyr’s blood into a ewer. Gruesome hobby! This painting is one of only two Vermeers still in private hands. It's another masterpiece from the estate of the late Barbara Piasecka Johnson. It comes up for auction in Christie’s Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale in London on 8 July with an estimated price tag of £6m to £8m (CLICK).


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