Published: April 26, 2016
NEW YORK CITY — In a sale featuring a section of Italian paintings at Christie’s on April 25, Franesco Hayez’s celebrated “Il Bacio,” considered one of the true icons of Italian Romantic art, sold for $1,865,000, including buyer’s premium, setting a new auction record for the artist. The previous record for “Il Bacio” was set in November 2008 when it sold for $1,200,318 at Sotheby’s London.
Hayez’s masterpiece can be considered the epitome of Italian Romantic art. The composition, centered around a kiss between two lovers in a medieval setting, has long been regarded as one of the most intense and sensual representations of a kiss in the history of Western art, and it is the natural and modern attitude of the couple’s embrace that contributes to the painting’s timeless appeal. This work is a symbol of the Italian Risorgimento and, thanks to its many reproductions, an icon of Nineteenth Century Italian art.
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