An early Renaissance masterpiece painted by 13th-century artist Cimabue has been discovered hanging on the wall in an elderly woman’s kitchen.
An auctioneer spotted the historic piece of art while inspecting the woman’s house in Compiegne, a small town near Paris, and suggested she have it valued.
Titled “Christ Mocked”, the painting is expected to sell at auction for around £5.3m. It depicts an image of Jesus surrounded by his disciples on a 10 x 8-inch tableau.
Art experts say it is likely to have been part of a larger diptych portraying Christ’s passion and execution that Cimabue, also known as Cenni di Pepo, painted around 1280.
Two other panels are displayed at the Frick Collection in New York and the National Gallery in London.
The painting will go on sale next month at the Acteon auction house north of Paris.
The artist, who was born in Florence around the mid-13th century and died in Pisa in the early 14th century, created a number of works that are still visible today in churches and galleries around Europe
The National Gallery said the artist, who was also dubbed the Florentine Painter, was one of the pioneering artists of the early Italian Renaissance.
“His works represent a crucial moment in the history of art when Italian painters, while still influenced by Byzantine painting, were exploring the naturalistic depiction of forms and three-dimensional space,” said the gallery description.
Additional reporting by AP
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