New normal for Old Masters: Botticelli's record online sale and new AI research on Leonardo's Salvator Mundi

Plus, Gerard Byrne on his work inspired by a Swedish diorama

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Sandro Botticelli’s Young Man Holding a Roundel was sold  Sotheby's Masters Week series of sales in New York Courtesy of Sotheby's

Sandro Botticelli’s Young Man Holding a Roundel was sold Sotheby's Masters Week series of sales in New York Courtesy of Sotheby's

The Week in Art

From breaking news and insider insights to exhibitions and events around the world, the team at The Art Newspaper picks apart the art world’s big stories with the help of special guests. An award-winning podcast hosted by Ben Luke, The Week in Art is sponsored by Christie’s.

This week, the Old Masters in the digital age. We look at the $92m live-streamed auction sale (with fees) of a major Botticelli in New York and new research, including a study using artificial intelligence, into Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi.

Rembrandt van Rijn's Abraham and the Angels (1646) Courtesy of Sotheby's

While a prize Botticelli sold for a record price for the early Renaissance master at Sotheby's, a Rembrandt, expected to fetch $20m-$30m, was withdrawn from the auction at the last minute. So as the coronavirus crisis continues, is this really a good moment to sell Old Masters? Scott Reyburn, who writes for The Art Newspaper and the New York Times, reflects on the results of the sale and the Old Masters market more generally.

Two examinations of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi suggest that it was initially conceived as just a head and shoulders, with the hands and arms added later on © CNN ANALYSIS

Then, Alison Cole, the editor of The Art Newspaper, explains the latest scientific findings about Salvator Mundi, the Leonardo painting that sold at Christie’s in 2017 for $450m—including a study using neural networks.

An installation view of Film Inside an Image in the exhibition Gerard Byrne, Upon all the living and the dead (2019) at Secession in Vienna, Austria Courtesy of the artist

And for this episode’s Work of the Week, the artist Gerard Byrne talks about a diorama in the Biological Museum, in Stockholm, which inspired Byrne’s series of photographs, Beasts, and a film installation, Film Inside an Image, both now showing in an online viewing room at Kerlin Gallery.

The Week in Art podcast by The Art Newspaper is available every Friday on our website and all the usual places where you find podcasts. This podcast is sponsored by Christie's.

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