The Economy Clearly Does Not Appreciate the Italian Masters

It was international news when Sebastiano Ricci's 1705 painting The Vision of St. Bruno, pictured above, was discovered in Dallas and put on the auction block earlier this month. After all, said Heritage Auction Galleries' Ted Pillsbury, formerly head honcho at the Kimbell Art Museum, "His paintings are in all of the great museums." Only two weeks ago, Pillsbury told The Dallas Morning News "it's fair to say it could go in the low seven figures." Alas, not so much.

Today comes word that the painting failed to fetch the minimum bid of $500,000 -- a sign of the times, Pillsbury tells the Associated Press. So now the family will try to sell it privately. I've got 20 bucks. --Robert Wilonsky

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