A rare 17th-century Italian painting that was recently on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art is heading to the auction block in January.
Measuring more than 7 feet across, Orazio Gentileschi’s “Danaë” portrays a mythological scene in which the god Jupiter enters the title character’s chamber in the form of a shower of gold.
The painting’s estimated value is $25 million to $35 million, according to Sotheby’s, which plans to offer the work at its Master Paintings evening sale in New York on Jan. 28, 2016.
“It’s the most important Italian baroque painting to come on the market since World War II,” said Otto Naumann, an old masters dealer in New York. “If I had it, I would have offered it at $75 million.”
A friend and contemporary of Caravaggio, Gentileschi began his career in Rome and later moved to England, where he entered the service of Charles I. His daughter, Artemisia Gentileschi, was also a painter whose works have been rediscovered in recent years.
“Danaë” was commissioned by the nobleman Giovanni Antonio Sauli in 1621 for his palazzo in Genoa.