Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum has paid $28m at an auction in New York for a bronze sculpture by Adriaen de Vries, now considered to be the most important Dutch sculptor.
It is the first statue by De Vries (1556-1626) in a Dutch art collection, the museum said in a statement. The work was financed by a private donation and various art funds.
‘Adriaen de Vries is the Dutch Michelangelo and his works are equally rare,’ said museum director Wim Pijbes.
The bronze, dating from 1626, may be the last signed work by De Vries. It represents the mythological figure of Atlas, a nude man supporting the globe.
The statue was rediscovered by chance in the courtyard of a castle in Austria in 2010 where it had been since around 1700. It was probably sold to the castle’s owners by De Vries’ heirs.
The bronze will be on view at the Rijksmuseum in spring 2015.
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