“The Finding of Moses”, a 19th century painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema has fetched a price way past its pre-sale estimate, almost making a record of sorts. This lovely painting had a pre-sale estimate of $3 million to $5 million. But it was finally sold for a whopping $35,922,500 to an undisclosed bidder! It was one of the highlights of Sotheby’s 19th Century European Art Sale being held on November 4th. The battle was between three bidders.
As the bidding started, the bid rose to $20million. Till now the battle was between two candidates, but soon, in a climax, a third bidder entered and raised the stakes to $23 million. But finally, the painting was sold to an original phone bidder. This price is the highest this artist has received till date in any auction. The previous record was for this very painting, which was sold for $2.8million in 1995.
In the painting, the pharaoh’s daughter is being carried aloft by her slaves, while her maids carry baby Moses in a basket so as to enable her to see her adopted son. Alma Tadema seems to have become obsessed with Egyptian themes after a visit to the British Museum in 1862 where the newly acquired Elgin Marbles were the main attraction.