Cimabue Masterpiece Found in French Kitchen Fetches $26.6 Million

  • October 27, 2019 21:05

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Cimabue, "Mocking of Christ"
Actéon and Eric Turquin

A 13th century work by Italian master Cimabue, rediscovered in a French kitchen earlier this year, brought 24 million euros ($26.6 million) at auction on Sunday.

Dominique Le Coent of Acteon Auction House said the sale represented a "world record for a primitive, or a pre-1500 work." It was estimated to bring about $6.5 million.

The buyer remains anonymous.

"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.

The consignor is the family of an elderly French woman, from the town of Compiegne outside Paris, who hung the painting in her kitchen for years thinking it was a Greek religious icon. The family does not how the piece was acquired, according to auctioneer Philomène Wolf who found the 10-inch tempera on poplar panel during a house call.

Despite hanging in a food-centered location, the gold-painted work is described as in "excellent condition."

Collaborating on the sale was Paris-based Cabinet Turquin whose specialists Jerome Montcouquil and Eric Turquin analyzed the work over the summer. Turquin believes the piece is "Mocking of Christ" from Cimabue's polyptych centered on the passion and crucifixion of Christ.

Montcouquil said, "There are only eleven of his paintings in the world - they are rare."

Read more at SFgate


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