700-Year-Old Masterpiece Found Over a Woman's Stove

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700-Year-Old Masterpiece Found Over a Woman's Stove


Last June, a nonagenarian woman in Compiègne, France, decided to sell her house along with some of her belongings. One of the things she found was a long-lost painting which she believed was a “knock off.” What she didn’t expect is that the artwork was actually a hundred-year-old masterpiece.


Photo Credit: All That's Interesting


The woman contacted Actéon, a small auction house from the nearby town of Senlis, to sell some of her belongings. The masterpiece was found by auctioneer Philomène Wolf, which he initially valued by 400,000 euros or $440,000. “You rarely see something of such quality. I immediately thought it was a work of Italian primitivism. But I didn’t imagine it was a Cimabue,” he said. Wolf brought the piece to a popular Old Master appraiser based in Paris, Eric Turquin. To their surprise, the painting's value increased by 15 times higher. 


Photo Credit: All That's Interesting


It turned out that the painting the woman has kept over her oven for years is an original artwork by Renaissance painter Cenni di Pepo entitled “Mocking of Christ.” The artwork is one of the three-paneled polyptych depicting the different stages of the Passion of the Christ – “Flagellation of Christ” and “Madonna and Child Enthroned Between Two Angels.” All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they saw on the news or read in history books, reported that Turquin stated that the piece could sell for between four million and six million euros which is equivalent to between $4.4 million and $6.6 million.


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


According to Turquin, he is positive about his assessment although the piece has yet to be examined by other experts. An unusual proof of the painting’s authenticity is wormholes. He explained that all three panels have signs of being eaten by timber-loving larvae that dug a track through the panels. “You can follow the tunnels made by the worms. It’s the same poplar panel… We have objective proof it’s by the artist,” he said. 



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