At auction at Christie's a Michelangelo folio at an incredibly affordable price

Have you always dreamed of having a Michelangelo sketch in your home? In April, Christie's will put a note by the great sculptor up for auction at an incredibly affordable price. Sure, it's not a masterpiece, but it's still an opportunity...

A Michelangelo drawing at auction at a decidedly affordable price. What might be a dream for many collectors is now a reality: a sketch by Michelangelo Buonarroti (Caprese, 1475 - Rome, 1564) will go up for auction at Christie’s on April 17 with an estimate of just $6-8,000. This is a ridiculous figure, considering that Michelangelo’s drawings can reach figures of five or six zeros, and that just two years ago a newly rediscovered drawing of his was sold at auction, again at Christie’s, for a record price of 23 million euros.

Of course, it is not a masterpiece: it is little more than a doodle. In fact, the sheet depicts the outline of a marble block accompanied by the word “Similar.” And that’s it. It was probably a note, intended perhaps for those who supplied the marbles to Michelangelo, or for himself, to remember a measurement. The small drawing is attached to a letter written in 1836 by a descendant of Michelangelo, Cosimo Buonarroti, who that year gave the paper to an English tourist named John Bowring, who later became governor of Hong Kong.

The sheet was on the back of a drawing attributed to Michelangelo’s circle that went to auction at Christie’s in 1986. Then, as a result of the auction house’s research, the sheet was again discovered: Christie’s recognized the Michelangelo autograph and offered the sheet for sale at the estimate mentioned above. A low estimate, partly because of the small size of the paper, and partly because it is not a drawing or sketch, but a simple note. This is not the first time such a sheet has gone to auction: it had happened in 2008, when another sketch of a block, again attached to a sheet by Cosimo Buonarroti, went through Christie’s with an estimate of £10-15,000 and sold for £73,250. So it is not certain that the newly discovered sheet will actually sell for a low price. But it is enough, perhaps, to raise the antennae of ancient art lovers who want to take home a sheet on which Michelangelo’s hand rested without spending crazy amounts of money.

The paper that goes up for auction
The sheet going up for auction

At auction at Christie's a Michelangelo folio at an incredibly affordable price
At auction at Christie's a Michelangelo folio at an incredibly affordable price

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