Not everyone understands what goes into the valuation of a rare painting. Some times a history behind a piece of art makes it even more valuable. A masterpiece by Nicolas Poussin is expected to fetch up to $31 million when it is auctioned by Christie’s in December. The history behind this masterpiece adds to its value. Painted in the 1630s, “Ordination” was one of the Seven Sacraments created by the artist for Cassiano dal Pozzo – a famous collector in Rome.
“Penance”, one of the series of seven paintings was destroyed in a fire nearly 200 years ago. Another work from the series, titled “Baptism” was donated to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. The other five pieces are titled “Ordination”, “Confirmation”, “Eucharist”, Extreme Unction” and Marriage. All the five are part of the Belvoir Estate which is the estate of Duke of Rutland. The Duke has loaned it to the National Gallery of London for public display.
In the late 18th century the Pope had tried to block the sale of the series out of Italy. It is said that the arts dealer James Byres had copies painted to replace the originals which he smuggled and sold to Charles Manners the 4th Duke of Rutland. The auction will take place on December 7 in London.