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Little did the owner know, but that dark painting hanging in her kitchen for decades was a masterpiece potentially worth more than $6 million. The elderly French woman thought she owned a Greek religious icon. The 10-inch by 8-inch painting was not Greek, but a panel created by Florentine artist and early Renaissance master Cimabue (1240-1302). The set of eight panels were called “The Flagellation of Christ” and were made around 1280. The pieces, including this newly discovered piece called “Christ Mocked,” centered on the passion and crucifixion of Christ. Only two other panels are known to exist.

The artwork came to light when French auctioneer Philomène Wolf noticed the religious scene while clearing out the nonagenarian client’s Compiègne home. The painting was hanging over a hot plate used for cooking food but seemed undamaged. It is to be auctioned on Oct. 27 at the Acteon auction house in Senlis, just north of Paris. It will be the first Cimabue painting to be auctioned.



christ mocked art painting by artist cimabue italian diptych 13th century found 2019

Photo: Washingtonpost.com/Charles Platiau/Reuter


#3 Cimabue paneldollypatty 2019-10-24 12:10
Magnifique! Hope this lady is able to enjoy knowing that she helped preserve this masterpiece for the world to enjoy. Fantastic work by the auctioneer and staff. And it shows that wonderful finds are still to be discovered.
#2 Cimabue paintingJen054 2019-10-23 20:15
What an amazing find. Fortunate that the person clearing the nonagenarian's home had some knowledge about art.
#1 Exceptionaldollypatty 2019-10-23 15:50
felicitations! Stories like this are so inspiring. Very reaffirming and pleasing to know that this auction firm knows "their stuff". We hope the owner is able to ENJOY the fact that she preserved this treasure for the rest of the world to enjoy. Magnifique!

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