1. Various of Sandro Botticelli's Young Man Holding a Roundel
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Christopher Apostle, Director of Old Master Paintings Department at Sotheby's New York:
"But when I just stand in front of this painting, it gives me such great pleasure still, it still takes my breath away. This is one of the few pictures in my career of 30 some years that literally raises goose bumps for me. So even though there are logistical issues and catalog deadlines and hanging in this, which can be stressful, you know, leading up to a sale, just when I stand in front of this picture, I still get this inordinate pleasure."
3. Various of Rembrandt van Rijn, Abraham and the Angels
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Christopher Apostle, Director of Old Master Paintings Department at Sotheby's New York:
"But at a picture this size, compared to a picture larger, it has a force that is just astounding. It's a you know, it's it's it's perfect, perfect in every way really, the condition, the surface, the story, the type of what it is."
A master piece from Sandro Botticelli is about to come to auction and art watchers will be seeing if it fetches more than its eye-watering $80 million estimate, despite the pandemic.
Botticelli's 15th-century portrait of a nobleman in "Young Man Holding a Roundel" is the highlight of Sotheby's Masters Week sale series in New York.
Christopher Apostle, who has for more than three decades handled Old Masters and is now head of the division, says "a picture of his quality and this impact, this beauty, really hasn't been on the market in many years."
Opportunities to acquire a Botticelli - the artist behind such masterpieces as "Primavera" and "The Birth of Venus" - are very rare and Apostle is confident the painting will sell for a sum close to its $80 million estimate.
Other highlights of the auctions include a rare biblical masterpiece by Rembrandt van Rijn and the marble sculpture of Autumn by Gian Lorenzo and Pietro Bernini.
Apostle calls Rembrandt's Abraham and the Angels a "nearly perfect" painting.