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Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), A nude young man (after Masaccio) surrounded by two figures. Pen and two shades of brown ink, 13 x 7 7/8 in© Christie's Images Ltd 2022.

PARIS.- Christie’s Paris Old Masters sale began with the momentous sale of A nude young man (after Masaccio) surrounded by two figures by Michelangelo, selling for €23,162,000 / £19,645,462 / $24,380,019, establishing it as the most expensive work by the artist to have ever sold, the highest price ever achieved for a work on paper offered on the European continent, and the third highest price for an Old master Drawing ever sold.

This sale rounds out a series of recent landmark auctions at Christie’s setting new records in various categories, including the Violon d’Ingres by Man Ray, the most expensive photograph since 14 May ($12,4 million), and the Shot Sage Blue Marylin by Andy Warhol setting a new record on 9 May for a 20th century work of art ($195million).

Stijn Alsteens, International Head of Department - Old Master Drawings : “We are proud to have rediscovered this drawing and grateful to have been entrusted with its sale. The outstanding price it has achieved today is a testament to the enduring admiration for one of the greatest artists of all times, and to the strength of the art market, in particular for masterpieces of this calibre.”

Victoire Gineste, Auctioneer : “The auction of an art work of this magnitude may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It goes with a very special emotion. I also want to thank collectors and bidders for their tribute to one of the greatest artists in all times.”