Frieze Masters broadens its horizons
Fine Art

Frieze Masters broadens its horizons

Portrait of Michael Marullus Tarchaniota (detail; c. 1500), Sandro Botticelli. Trinity Fine Art ($30m) Frieze Masters may have a reputation as a fair that caters to 20th-century art more than to earlier works, but the star turn at this year’s edition looks to be a portrait by the Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli. The work – an imposing, three-quarter view of Michele Marullo (or Michael Marullus Tarchaniota), a Greek-Florentine scholar and soldier – has recently been on long-term loan to the Prado, and will be offered as the only work on the booth of Trinity Fine Art for a cool $30m. ‘It can be a very difficult fair to present Old Masters, but this work will certainly hold its own with the modern art,’ says Carlo Orsi, owner of Trinity Fine Art. The portrait is dated around 1500, when Marullo drowned in the Cecina river near Volterra during a freak storm; the work’s catalogue – produced for Frieze Masters and written by the art historian Carl Brandon Strehlke – offers the view that it was commissioned posthumously by Marullo’s widow, the intellectual and poet Alessandra Scala, who subsequently entered a Benedictine nunnery and died in 1506. Portrait of Michael Marullus […]

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