The large 4ft 2in x 6ft 4in (1.26 x 1.92m) oil on canvas was one of more than 100 lots removed from Weidenfeld’s Chelsea Embankment apartment and sold on May 18 in King Street. The work by Sienese painter Vincenzo Rustici (1556-1632) is a slightly smaller variation of one of his best-known paintings, Caccia ai tori nel Campo di Siena, which resides in the Palazzo Salimbeni in Siena.
It was painted in c.1582 to mark the publication of Cecchino Cartaio’s contemporary account of the ‘festa’ in Piazza del Campo.
Centuries later it entered the collection of Edward Levy Lawson, 1st Lord Burnham (1833-1916), of Hall Barn in Buckinghamshire, before selling at Christie’s in 1969, catalogued as Flemish School c.1610, for 1800 guineas.
Back on the auction block 48 years later and estimated at £70,000-100,000, it sailed passed its guide where it was knocked down at £200,000 to a UK private buyer. Details of Vincenzo’s life and work are scarce – just a clutch of his pictures is recorded to have sold at auction with this work likely to be the most expensive.