Study for a Seated St. Joseph, a rare Botticelli drawing, is to be sold at the Sotheby’s in London in July.
This is the first such drawing by Sandro Botticelli to be sold for a century.
The artwork is believed to be the only drawing which can be clearly linked with one of Sandro Botticelli’s painted compositions.
It is also thought to be the only drawing by Sandro Botticelli, created in the 1480s, in private hands.
It is estimated to fetch up to £1.5 million ($2.4 million) at the Sotheby’s auction on July 9.
Aside from an album of illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy, there are only 12 surviving drawings by Botticelli – all but Study for a Seated St. Joseph are in museums.
The artwork comes from the collection of philanthropist Barbara Piasecka Johnson, the wife of the late John Seward Johnson – the co-founder of the Johnson and Johnson medical and pharmaceutical firm.