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Old Master Discovered in Elderly Woman’s Kitchen Worth £5.3 Million

7 October 2019

Doesn’t have much to do with books and writing, but it’s hard to pass up a story like this.

From Art Law and More:

A long-lost Medieval masterpiece has been discovered hanging above an elderly woman’s kitchen stove in northern France. When it goes up for auction in October, the painting is estimated to fetch around €6 million (£5.3 million).

“It was considered special by the family, but they thought it was an icon,” explained Philomene Wolf, the auctioneer who found the artwork during a house clearance in Compiegne this summer.

Small and unassuming in size, the tempera painting is believed to be Christ Mocked by the Florentine master Cimabue (1240-1302). Infrared testing was used to confirm the attribution, with some experts stating there is “no disputing” its origin.

Cimabue, also known as Cenni di Pepo, was a pioneering Italian painter and is known as the father of western art. His paintings break away from the highly stylised Italo-Byzantine tradition to depict more life-like religious scenes.

. . . .

Subsequent research by Turquin revealed that Christ Mocked could also be part of polyptych – a type of altarpiece painting consisting of three or more panels. Two other scenes from the set, which show the Flagellation of Christ and Madonna and Child Enthroned between Two Angels, are displayed in the Frick Collection in New York and the National Gallery in London.

“You can follow the tunnels made by the worms,” said Turquin, who compared the marks made in the panel by wood-eating larvae to those found in the other sections of Cimabue’s polyptych. “It’s the same poplar panel,” he added.

Link to the rest at Art Law and More

Who can resist a mystery that is solved by analyzing worm tunnels?

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2 Comments to “Old Master Discovered in Elderly Woman’s Kitchen Worth £5.3 Million”

  1. This is utterly cool! Thanks for sharing it with us, PG. 😀

  2. What a great story! I hope she lives long enough to enjoy spending most of that money. 🙂

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