Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), Venus, 1531. Oil on panel, 38.7 x 24.5 cm. Colnaghi

LONDON - Colnaghi, the venerable firm of dealers in Old Master paintings and drawings located at 15 Old Bond Street, London W1, has sold a recently rediscovered and highly important Venus by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), one of the most iconic images by the artist, only to be compared with the Venus in the Städel Museum, Frankfurt, which it predates by one year.  It has been sold to the Princely Collections of Liechtenstein.  (Priced in the region of several million GBP.)

Cranach’s depictions of Venus have inspired a number of important modern and contemporary artists including Kirchner, Giacometti, Picasso and more recently John Currin. The work was acquired from a private collection where it had been for over 150 years. It is the highlight of the current exhibition at Colnaghi during Master Paintings Week.

Master Paintings Week (MPW), now in its fifth year and already an important event in the London art calendar, takes place from 28 June to 5 July 2013 and, for the first time, has the support of The Crown Estate.  The successful collaboration between twenty leading dealers and three international auction houses highlights the extraordinarily wide selection of European paintings dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries available in London.