A masterpiece hung above a woman’s hot plate for years. It could be worth millions.
Art Business

A masterpiece hung above a woman’s hot plate for years. It could be worth millions.

Art expert Eric Turquin inspects the painting “Christ Mocked,” a long-lost masterpiece by Florentine Renaissance artist Cimabue from the late 13th century, which was found months ago hanging in an elderly woman’s kitchen. (Charles Platiau/Reuters) To the untrained eye, it was a nice enough painting. Small and wooden, old and religious; it’d probably look good in the kitchen, maybe the hallway. And that’s where it hung for years, in the home of a French woman in her 90s who reportedly assumed it was a relic, an icon of little importance and less value. She may have even considered tossing it as she prepared to move out of her house in Compiègne, a town north of Paris. Had she done that, the art world would have lost a masterpiece and she would have lost millions. A dusty icon it was not. The painting is titled “Christ Mocked” and it has been attributed to the 13th-century Italian artist Cenni di Pepo, known as Cimabue, a legendary, near-mythical figure widely seen as a Renaissance forefather. Experts have identified only 10 or so other Cimabue paintings, and his work remains exceedingly rare — making this improbable rediscovery even more remarkable. “This is a […]

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