LONDON.- Sotheby's has auctioned the triptych titled Lamentation of Christ for 1.46 million euros. The Spanish Ministry of Culture was present at the auction and was unable to stop the sale. An auction house spokesman stated they do not know the identity of the buyer. The Spanish Ministry of Culture had announced previously that although the work had been stolen, the work was sold several times after the fact and that makes it legal to sell it again. Sothebys has also stated it would be legal to sell the work.
This is, after his celebrated altarpiece of the Deposition in the church of Saint Michael in Segovia, one of Ambrosius Benson's most important surviving intact monumental triptychs, and the only one to our knowledge that is left in private hands. In his monograph on Benson, George Marlier noted of it: "[His] extreme nobility commends him, a sober harmony, an unusual vigour, an expression of endless pain. It is the work of a painter with a classical temperament, who has scarcely been influenced by the mannerism of his time".