On the eve of the major Old Masters sales in the auction houses, Mayfair dealers Colnaghi of 15 Old Bond Street announced the sale of a recently rediscovered ‘Venus’ by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553).
A 15 x 10in (39 x 25cm) oil on panel dated to 1531, it was sold to the Princely Collections of Liechtenstein for 'several million pounds'.
The sale was announced the day after the Sunday night preview that marked the start of the fifth Master Paintings Week, which ran from June 28 to July 5, a collaboration between 20 dealers and three auction houses, Christie's, Sotheby's and Bonhams.
The Cranach work was acquired from a private collection where it had been for over 150 years and was the centrepiece of Colnaghi's Master Paintings Week exhibition. The work is markedly similar to Cranach's Venus in the Städel Museum, Frankfurt, which it predates by one year.