Masterpiece found in French woman’s kitchen sells for $26.6M

International

(AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

PARIS (AP) — An old painting found in the kitchen of an elderly French woman, who considered it an icon of little importance, has made her a multimillionaire.

The work, a masterpiece attributed to the 13th-century Italian painter Cimabue that was discovered earlier this year, sold for 24 million euros ($26.6 million) Sunday.

Dominique Le Coent of Acteon Auction House, who sold the masterpiece to an anonymous buyer near Chantilly, north of Paris, said the sale represented a “world record for a primitive, or a pre-1500 work.”

“It’s a painting that was unique, splendid and monumental. Cimabue was the father of the Renaissance. But this sale goes beyond all our dreams,” Le Coent told The Associated Press.

An auctioneer spotted the painting in June while inspecting a woman’s house in Compiegne in northern France and suggested she bring it to experts for an evaluation. It hung on a wall between the kitchen and dining room.

The woman will now receive “the majority” of the sale money, the auction house said.

The expected sale price had been 4 million to 6 million euros ($4.4 million to $6.6 million).

Le Coent said experts were off the mark because it was the first time a Cimabue had ever gone under the hammer. “There’s never been a Cimabue painting on sale so there was no reference previously on how much it could make,” he explained.

Titled “Christ Mocked,” the painting measures about 10 inches by 8 inches (24 by 20 centimeters).

Art experts say it is likely part of a larger diptych that Cimabue painted around 1280, of which two other panels are displayed at the Frick Collection in New York and the National Gallery in London.

The painting’s discovery has sent ripples of excitement through the art world.

Cimabue, who taught Italian master Giotto, is widely considered the forefather of the Italian Renaissance. He broke from the Byzantine style popular in the Middle Ages and began to incorporate elements of movement and perspective that came to characterize Western painting.

Specialists at the Turquin gallery in Paris initially examined the painting and concluded with “certitude” that it bore the hallmarks of Cimabue.

Stephane Pinta, an art specialist with the Turquin, pointed to likenesses in facial expressions and buildings, as well as the painter’s techniques for conveying light and distance.

LATEST STORIES:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Thursday Morning Forecast

Thumbnail for the video titled "Thursday Morning Forecast"

Tampa Mayor Castor on places of worship order

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa Mayor Castor on places of worship order"

Sheriff seeking arrest warrant against local pastor

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sheriff seeking arrest warrant against local pastor"

residents concerned about covid patient

Thumbnail for the video titled "residents concerned about covid patient"

Nurses union protesting lack of protective gear at HCA hospitals

Thumbnail for the video titled "Nurses union protesting lack of protective gear at HCA hospitals"

a group of past and present Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to help the local community by donating food and supplies to seniors in the area

Thumbnail for the video titled "a group of past and present Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to help the local community by donating food and supplies to seniors in the area"

Deposit Returned

Thumbnail for the video titled "Deposit Returned"

Tampa woman self-isolating with rescue ducks

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa woman self-isolating with rescue ducks"

Hillsborough County to use 2 hotels as quarantine, isolation sites for residents impacted by COVID-19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hillsborough County to use 2 hotels as quarantine, isolation sites for residents impacted by COVID-19"

Invisible lines in sand cause confusion as Pinellas County beachgoers persist despite coronavirus orders

Thumbnail for the video titled "Invisible lines in sand cause confusion as Pinellas County beachgoers persist despite coronavirus orders"

NFL to begin season as scheduled in September

Thumbnail for the video titled "NFL to begin season as scheduled in September"

Businesses react

Thumbnail for the video titled "Businesses react"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss