$27M worth Jesus painting was almost thrown in the dump

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

· A painting of Jesus found among other stuff bound for the dump was discovered to be an artwork of Florentine artist Cimabue.
· The painting sold for almost $27M on October 27, the highest price for a historical painting sold at an auction.
· Painted on a panel of poplar wood, the 10-inch painting showed a tired and dirty Jesus being pushed by a crowd of men.


Hanging over a hot plate of an elderly French woman’s home was a small panel painting of Jesus. When the woman moved out of the home in September, the painting was set to be thrown away along with several of her possessions — unless a local auctioneer would come and estimate the value within the week.

On October 27, the painting was sold for $26.8 million at the Acteon Auction House. The sum broke world records for a medieval painting sold at auction. It is also the highest price a European old master painting has garnered since the reported “Salvator Mundi” work by Leonardo da Vinci that was sold in 2017 for $450M.

Titled “The Mocking of Christ”, the painting was a lost work by early Renaissance master Cimabue. The 10-inch-high (25.4 centimeters) painting was painted on a panel of poplar wood.

Photo Credit: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty
Photo Credit: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty

It shows a disheveled Jesus surrounded by a throng of pushy men. It is believed by art historians to be a segment of an altarpiece completed in 1280 and might have been hung somewhere in Europe. From the series, only two so far have been discovered while there may be five more to find. Hanging in The Frick Collection in New York is the “Flagellation of Christ”, while the “Madonna and Child Enthroned Between Two Angels” is displayed in London’s National Gallery.

In verifying the painting’s authenticity, art experts compared the well-defined wormhole patterns on its back with the panels of the “Flagellation” and “Madonna”. Art historian Eric Turquin told the Art Newspaper that the newfound work comes from the same poplar panel.

Cimabue was a Florentine artist and teacher active from 1272 to 1302. Regarded as one of the greatest artists of the pre-Renaissance era, Cimabue was considered to be the first European master to renounce the stiffness of Byzantine art and replace it with the naturalistic style of the Renaissance. Eventually, Cimabue was overshadowed by Giotto, his most famous student.

Nobody knows how the rare artwork ended up in the woman’s kitchen. When asked by the Guardian, the woman said she thought it was just an old religious Russian icon that had been with her family for so long.

 

Source: Live Science

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