The final figure is more than seven times the previous world auction record for the artist. For the past two years the work has adorned the walls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and now, and is hailed as one of the most important Italian Baroque paintings to come to market since World War II.

blog.php-225 Orazio Gentileschi's Danaë

Orazio Gentileschi was commissioned in 1621 by nobleman Giovanni Antonio Sauli to create the oil work which depicts the myth of Danaë. The myth tells the story of King Acrisius of Argo subjecting his daughter to live out her days in a hidden chamber in order to keep her from falling in love.

Jupiter, God of the Sky and Thunder, falls in love with the princess and transforms himself into gold coins in order to enter her room. Here, Gentileschi depicts Cupid announcing Jupiter's arrival.

Gentileschi is regarded as one of the most accomplished Caravaggesque painters. He taught his skills to his daughter, Artemesia Gentileschi, who became the most celebrated female artist of the 17th century.

Search Sotheby's on Barnebys here.

See realised prices for Gentileschi here.