A drawing of a bear’s head by Leonardo da Vinci sold for a record £8.8m ($12.1m) at a London auction.
Measuring just 7x7cm, Head of a Bear is more than 500 years old. The sale has surpassed the previous record for a Leonardo drawing, set by the Horse and Rider, which sold for £8.1m in 2001. The auction house did not reveal the identity of the buyers. However, it was sold to a single bid from a man and a woman.
The drawing was created using silverpoint on pale pink-beige paper and is among a number of the artist’s small-scale drawings of animals, which date back to the early 1480s. Silverpoint involves applying a silver stick to a specially prepared paper to leave marks and lines, requiring delicate touch and pressure.
Leonardo da Vinci, who was born in 1452 and died in 1519, is famous for both his art and inventions.
In 2017, a 500-year-old painting of Christ believed to have been painted by Leonardo sold in New York for a record $450m (£341m). Known as Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World), the sale represented the highest auction price for any work of art.