A RARE masterpiece by Titian is expected to sell for more than 13 million at auction after going on public display for the first time in 30 years. A Sacra Conversazione was painted around 1560 by the Old Master when he was in his seventies and will go on sale at Sothebys in New York in January. Currently on display in London it is one of only a handful of multi-figured compositions by the 16th century artist remaining in private hands and the most important to appear at auction for 20 years. The painting shows Madonna and Child in conversation with Saint Luke and Catherine of Alexandria. It has only appeared in public on a handful of occasions since it was painted almost 500 years ago. Telegraph Alex Bell, Co-Chairman of Old Master Paintings, Sothebys Worldwide, said: It has very, very rarely been exhibited other than in a couple of collections in rather obscure venues. It has hardly been seen since the 19th century and is not really known. This is a very unique opportunity for a private collector. A Sacra Conversazione was bought from the family of Chevalier Orologi of Padua who was a friend of Titians around 1790 by Sir Richard Worsley, the British ambassador to Venice. He was forced to flee the city when it was invaded by the French in 1797 but the art collector was never able to bring the work to Britain. The ship bringing it home was commandeered by French privateers and the painting was eventually bought by Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleons brother, at a sale in Malaga. It is currently being sold by the charitable foundation of the late German art collector Heinz Kisters. The last time a multi-figured Titian was sold at auction was in 1991 when Venus and Adonis was bought by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles for a reported 13 million. The Italian painter is credited with influencing the works of Renaissance painters such as Rembrandt, Van Dyck and El Greco and even 19th and 20th century colourists such as Manet. Meanwhile, a George Stubbs painting that has never been sold before will be auctioned at Sothebys in London on December 8. Expected to reach more than 15 million Brood Mares and Foals is thought to be the finest of Stubbs work to be sold. It has remained in the same family since it was painted and is being sold by the current Early of Macclesfield. Stubbs Portrait of Viscount Gormanstons White Dog is also to be auctioned at the same sale and is expected to reach up to 500,000. Telegraph