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Rarely seen Michelangelo finally to be auctioned

2nd June 2011

A drawing by Michelangelo which has only received one public viewing is finally to go on sale next month, auctioneers have confirmed.

Christie's in London has revealed that the male nude is one of only 24 sketch sheets relating to the Battle of Causcina, which were the basis of a fresco Michelangelo had been commissioned to create in 1504.

The artwork was to adorn a wall at Florence's Sala del Gran, opposite a painting of the Battle Angjiari by Leonardo da Vinci.

However, neither work was completed and the drawing remains the only surviving evidence of Michelangelo's work on the project.

Benjamin Peronnet of Christie's said the drawing offers 'a glimpse into the mind of a genius at the peak of his powers'.

He described the unfinished fresco of the Battle of Causcina as 'one of the greatest Western masterpieces that never was'.

The sketch, which is the only one of the 24 drawings currently in private ownership, will go up for auction on July 5th, Christie's confirmed.

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