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Rare Botticelli drawing to be sold

BBC News logo BBC News 28/05/2014 BBC News

A rare Botticelli drawing is to be sold at a London auction in July - the first such drawing by the artist to be sold for a century.

Study for a Seated St Joseph is believed to be the only drawing which can be clearly linked with one of Botticelli's painted compositions.

It is also thought to be the only drawing by the artist, created in the 1480s, in private hands.

It is estimated to fetch up to £1.5m at the Sotheby's auction on 9 July.

Aside from an album of illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy, there are only 12 surviving drawings by Botticelli - all but Study for a Seated St Joseph are in museums.

The artwork comes from the collection of philanthropist Barbara Piasecka Johnson, the wife of the late John Seward Johnson - the co-founder of the Johnson and Johnson medical and pharmaceutical firm.

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