The Rubens painting, Salome Presented with the Severed Head of Saint John the Baptist (ca. 1609), last sold at auction after being rediscovered in 1998 for $5.5 million. If it meets its estimate, this will be one of the most expensive works by Rubens ever publicly sold at auction, but it is not likely to break his record. The most expensive painting by Rubens sold to date at public auction is The Massacre of the Innocents (ca. 1609–11), which fetched £49.5 million ($76.5 million) in 2002. The painting will hit the auction block in New York during an Old Masters sale on January 26.

Sir Peter Paul Rubens
Siegen 1577 – 1640 Antwerp
The head of Saint John the Baptist presented to Salome
oil on oak panel
panel: 37 by 40 1/8 in.; 94 by 101.8 cm.
framed: 49 1/4 by 54 in.; 125.1 by 137.2 cm.
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