A portrait of an unidentified gentleman reportedly painted by artist Frans Hals fetched a staggering $2 million at the Old Masters paintings auction at Christie's Wednesday.
The 17th century portrait that adorned the walls of actress Elizabeth Taylor's Bel Air home was auctioned above the estimated value of $700,000 to $1 million.
The portrait reportedly was inherited by Taylor from her father, Francis Taylor, who was an art dealer. The Portrait of a Gentleman was earlier thought to be the creation of a Hals follower, but later it was established that it was by the Dutch master himself.
The painting was authenticated as a Hals only last year, and its was the sole Old Masters work owned by Taylor, who otherwise preferred high-end jewelries and ornaments to paintings.
Signed FH, the painting depicts a gentleman in a black coat and white collar with his hands folded.
According to ABC News, Taylor was very fond of the painting. In 1956, while recuperating from back surgery at New York Presbyterian Medical Center, she had her hospital room decorated with Portrait of a Man and several other paintings, including a Renoir and a Monet.
The auction is part of Old Masters sales by both Christie's and Sotheby's that is estimated to fetch around $194 million in total.