The price achieved for one of only two Vermeers still in
private hands was below the top of the guide price, which pegged
the painting as being worth up to 8 million pounds.
"The Road to Calvary" by 16th-century Flemish Renaissance
painter Pieter Breugel, another standout work in Christie's Old
Masters Week sales, sold for 5,514,500 pounds, the auction house
It said 18th-century Venetian painter Francesco Guardi's
"Venice, the Bacino di San Marco with the Piazzetta and the
Doge’s Palace" sold for 9,882,500 pounds while a portrait of
Lady Frances Marsham by 18th-century British portraitist Sir
Joshua Reynolds sold for 4,786,500.
The Vermeer came from the collection of the late American
collector Barbara Piasecka Johnson, with proceeds going to her
charitable foundation, Christie's said.
There had been debate for decades about the authenticity of the
youthful work, which Vermeer painted when he was 23 and a recent
convert to Catholicism.
Christie's said tests by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam of the
paints that were used showed they were consistent with those in
($1 =0.5877 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Michael Roddy; Editing by Toni Reinhold)
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