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Long-lost Italian painting could fetch $6 million at French auction

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Long-lost Italian painting could fetch $6 million at French auction

PARIS (Reuters) – A painting lost by a 13th-century Italian master, discovered in an old Frenchwoman's kitchen, was valued at up to six million euros and will be sold at auction next month.

The painting "Christ Mocked" (C), a long-lost work by late 13th-century Florentine Renaissance artist Cimabue, which was found months ago hanging in an elderly woman's kitchen in the city of Compiegne, is displayed in Paris, France. , September 24, 2019. In L and R, copies of two other Cimabue paintings, though they were part of the same diptych. REUTERS / Charles Platiau

Renaissance artist Cimabue's painting “Christ Mocked” was valued at 4-6 million euros ($ 6.6 million) by former Paris masters expert Eric Turquin and will be sold by the Acteon auction house in Senlis, northern Paris , on October 27th.

For years the painting hung near a plate in an old lady's kitchen in Compiegne, north of Paris. He was considered a Cimabue when an auction house expert came to value his assets.

Turquin said there was no doubt about the authenticity of the painting, as it was in the Italian master's style, and the wormwood tunnels in the poplar wood panel match those of two similar Cimabues, a "Entronized Madonna" at the London National Gallery and "The Flagellation of Christ" in the Frick Collection in New York.

“This is an important work in art history. Cimabue opened the envelope, broke with the Greek style of perspectiveless painting, and introduced humanity. By 1280 this was totally new, he was a revolutionary, ”Turquin told Reuters.

The painting, done in a seasoned egg, shows the figure of Christ surrounded by an angry mob who arrested him.

Turquin said the small painting – measuring only 20 by 26 cm (10 inches) – is believed to be part of a diptych consisting of eight small panels. It may have been separated by an art dealer in the 19th century for a better price.

“Cimabue's works are very rare. When I was an art student, I would never dare to think that one day I would have a chance to hold a painting like this, ”he said.

The sale will be the first instance of a Cimabue painting to hit the market and will be the first chance to value the artist's work, the auction house said.

Born in Florence, Cimabue, also known as Cenni di Pepo, was a pioneering early Italian painter, of which only about 10 known works survived. He was one of the first to use perspective and painting in a more natural style that broke with medieval and Byzantine traditions.

Reporting by Noemie Olive and Pascale Antony; Written by Geert De Clercq Edition by Gareth Jones

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