Andrew Sisson found himself “sucked in more and more” into the art world as trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria. So much so that he spent $5.2 million of his own money to buy for the gallery the first Correggio painting to go on sale in half a century.

“I’ve got art books piled up beside my bed,” says Sisson. “I’m able to do this (buy the Correggio) because of the sale of Balanced Equity Management to Franklin Resources.”

“Madonna and Child with the infant Saint John the Baptist” was painted in the early 16th century by the Italian master. It was bought by Sisson on July 6 and he gave it to the St. Kilda Road gallery.

Asked if purchasing a Correggio was a better investment than Australian stocks, Sisson laughed and said “I won’t answer that”.

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