Raphael drawing sells for $47.8 million at auction

A Raphael drawing entitled "Head of a Young Apostle," which dates from the Renaissance period, has sold at auction for $47.8 million.
(Carl Court / AFP/Getty Images)

A drawing by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael has sold for $47.8 million at an auction. The work, titled “Head of a Young Apostle,” was featured in a Sotheby’s auction in London on Wednesday.

The chalk drawing, dating from the early 16th century, is believed to have been an early study for Raphael’s masterpiece “Transfiguration,” which is located at the The Vatican.

Sotheby’s had estimated that the drawing would sell for between about $16 million and $24 million. The sale was part of a larger auction of English paintings and Renaissance works.


Raphael’s drawing had been acquired by William Cavendish, the duke of Devonshire, around 1720, according to Sotheby’s. The drawing was being sold by Chatsworth, the home of the current duke, Peregrine Cavendish, who also serves on the Sotheby’s board of directors.


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