A rare Botticelli painting depicting Jesus Christ will go up for auction on January 27 at Sotheby's in New York, a year after a record $92 million was paid for a work by the Italian Renaissance master.
While the majority of works by Sandro Botticelli, such as the famous "Allegory of Spring" or "Birth of Venus", are on display at the Uffizi gallery in Florence, pieces circulating in private collections are much rarer.
"In private hands, we reckon there's only about five or so that we know out there," Christopher Apostle, head of Sotheby's Old Masters department, told AFP.
"Man of Sorrows," on display to the public from Saturday at the auction house in New York, is a portrait of Jesus against a black background. He is staring intently, a crown of thorns on his head and surrounded by angels. His hands are bound by ropes and scarred.