Italian sculptor Antonio Canova's rediscovered marble sculpture of Mary Magdalene set to fetch $10 mn at auction

Mar 22, 2022 263

A rediscovered Antonio Canova marble sculpture of Mary Magdalene is seen fetching up to $10 million when it heads to auction in July. Described by auction house Christies' as the Italian neoclassical sculptor's "lost masterpiece", "Maddalena Giacente" (Recumbent Magdalene) was commissioned by the Earl of Liverpool, then British prime minister, and took three years to carve.

Depicting Mary Magdalene in a state of religious ecstasy, the sculpture was completed just before Canova's death in 1822. "This is one of the last works that Canova actually's just recently come to light after having been in collections in the 20th century, unrecognised as a significant marble by Canova," Donald Johnston, Christie's International Head of Sculpture, told Reuters at a media preview on Thursday.

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