She thought it was an old Greek religious icon. It was a lost masterpiece worth $6 million or more.
A painting that has now been attributed to the 13th century Italian master Cimabue was recently discovered in a French woman's kitchen. The artwork is expected to sell for millions of euros at auction.
The small painting on wood measures 10 inches by 8 inches (24 centimeters by 20 centimeters). Titled "Christ Mocked," it shows Christ in a crowd, and is believed to be part of a diptych Cimabue painted circa 1280.
From the Associated Press:
Until recently, the painting hung on a wall between the kitchen and the dining room of a home in Compiègne. The woman considered it an icon of little importance until an auctioneer spotted the painting while going through her house and suggested bringing it to art experts, Pinta said.
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 incorporated elements of movement and perspective that came to characterize Western painting.
After examining the French kitchen find, Turquin gallery specialists concluded with "certitude" it bore hallmarks of Cimabue's work, Pinta said.
They noted clear similarities with the two panels of Cimabue's diptych, one displayed at the Frick Collection in New York and the other at the National Gallery in London.
A woman in France didn't realise that the painting hanging in her kitchen is a 13th-century masterpiece by Italian painter Cimabue. pic.twitter.com/ciVPjN8p8x
— HuffPost UK (@HuffPostUK) September 24, 2019
— The Voice of America (@VOANews) September 24, 2019
Un tableau de Cimabue, grand artiste italien dont les oeuvres sont très rares, a été découvert à Compiègne chez une dame qui pensait qu'il s'agissait d'une simple icône. Pierre Soulages décrivait dans une archive, la "Maestà" de Cimabue souvent mésestimée https://t.co/E2ogh1EwDU pic.twitter.com/Z8g0jR2cDT
— France Culture (@franceculture) September 24, 2019
Cimabue: Long-lost €6m artwork found in elderly woman's kitchen https://t.co/4BXlxsElPg
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 24, 2019