Published: December 12, 2006
(AP) — A painting believed to be a previously unknown work by Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens sold for $2.9 million at a Swedish auction on December 5.
The oil painting “Allegoric Scene — Diana With Her Entourage,” depicting the Roman hunting goddess on horseback, is the second most valuable painting ever sold at a Swedish auction, the Uppsala Auction House said.
However, it had an asking price of a modest $2,200, as the Swedish owners had previously been told it was painted by a student of the Seventeenth Century artist, said Anne Lundberg, an art expert for Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT, who was at the auction.
But experts at the auction said the painting was made by Rubens himself, causing bids to flood in by phone from around the world, she said.
“This is a big event, both because an unknown Rubens has been found and because it was valued so low and sold for so much,”‘ Lundberg said in comments posted on the SVT Web site.
The buyer was not identified.
The record for a painting auctioned in Sweden belongs to Swedish author August Strindberg’s “The Wonderland,” which sold for 22 million kronor in 1990, making it worth more than $5.2 million when adjusted for inflation.
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