An Extremely Rare and Old Painting Was Just Hanging in an Elderly Woman’s Kitchen – She Didn’t Know It’s Worth Millions!
There are a lot of advantages to cleaning your topsy-turvy kitchen: you’ll see expired canned goods, you’ll be able to save space, and you’ll discover treasures – sometimes, things that are worth millions of dollars.
It may sound far-fetched and some may even say it is unlikely for us to happen, but miracles do exist. Take a look at the case of an elderly woman who just learned that her humble abode just outside Paris is also home to a long-lost painting.
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For the plain eye, it’s just a random, old artwork that is perhaps fitting to be displayed at the hallway, living room, or kitchen. It wasn’t one that really grabs attention once you set foot into a home, after all, its faded colors weren’t all that enticing. But sometimes, it’s the little things that tend to be the most important as the woman never thought her display was that valuable.
The painting in question is called Christ Mocked, which was said to be a part of a series The Flagellation of Christ, created by 13th-century Florentine artist Cenni de Pepo, commonly known as Cimabue, that’s been missing for a long while.
The creator had been regarded as one of the best Renaissance artists and his works had been rare, with experts only identifying 10 of his artworks – this only made the discovery more amazing than anyone has thought.
So the 90-year-old woman didn’t notice nor knew that her house in the French countryside Compiegne had stored something worth more than it looks — the masterpiece was displayed between her living room and open-plan kitchen, directly above the hotplate that’s used to cook food.
The family thought it was an icon that had no importance, which explains where it is hanging. Plus, the Christ Mocked could have been found in the trash bin and she would have lost a dusty masterpiece that was plain priceless. Had it not been for the auctioneer, who looked at the house’s contents, the painting would have never been spotted.
The stars had aligned for this to happen, it seemed, as the relatively new auctioneer, Philomene Wolf, was just given a week to take a look at the house and the things inside it to give an expert’s view. She explained that had she not make time for that stint, the painting would have been thrown away.
Once she saw the masterpiece, with the elderly woman’s permission, she took it to Turquin Gallery, and it was proven that it was indeed a Cimabue.
Curator Xavier Solomon of Frick Collection, which houses the only Cimabue artwork outside Europe, touted the artist as the grandfather of Western painting. The expert also said that what’s even more remarkable about this improbable case was the artwork’s age, almost 800 years old.
The 20 cm by 24 cm painting is estimated to be fetched for almost $7 million when it will be up for auction on Oct. 27. Christ Mocked is the fourth or eight in the series that depicts the passion and crucifixion of Christ.
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