Rubens Painting Sells To Raise Money For Princess Diana's Family Home
A painting by Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens listed for auction by the family of the late Princess Diana sold on Tuesday at Christie's for 9 million pounds ($13.68 million). The picture "A Commander being armed for Battle," was painted in 1613 or 1614. The bearded man had been identified by some as Emperor Charles V and carried an estimate of 8-12 million pounds ($12-18 million). The painting has been at the Spencer family home, Althorp for more than 200 years. Although it was originally described as being in the "school of Rubens" it has now been identified by noted scholars as being painted by the master himself.
The painting is part of a Spencer collection sell-off of approximately $30 million designed to help preserve the family home. Althorp is undergoing a major restoration and the trustees of the estate decided to sell artwork deemed not integral to the Spencer Collection. Diana's brother Earl Spencer also sold off "King David" by Baroque artist Il Guercino for 5.2 million pounds. Overall the auction raised 42.3 million pounds solidly mid-range against an estimate of 36.9-55.8 million pounds.