Once again, a masterpiece has been discovered in a basement. In this case, it was a very well-hidden piece of art. A nondescript landscape was discovered in the cellar of artist Elizabeth Bodman after her death in 2015. While the work was attributed to her husband, little-known British artist Tom Wright, the back of the canvas bore the signature of another artist, “Lucian.” When conservators studied the Wright painting, they observed “clear signs” that another image lay below it. Naomi Rea reported for artnet News that experts carefully stripped away Wright’s painting to reveal the second landscape. The newly discovered work, according to some experts, is likely a rare landscape by the famed 20th-century painter Lucian Freud.
Sworders auction house sold the painting on July 11 for just shy of $40,000. The uncovered work is now titled “A Suffolk Spring Landscape With Welsh Mountains Beyond.” It appeared to have been unfinished when it was painted over. Perhaps equally important to art lovers, the landscape adds new depth to the art world’s understanding of an artist who is primarily known for his portraits.
Above: “A Suffolk Spring Landscape With Welsh Mountains Beyond” landscape painting by Lucian Freud
Above: Landscape painting by Tom Wright
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