Renaissance painting found in kitchen fetches $36 million at auction

A rare masterpiece by Italian early Renaissance master Cimabue that was discovered in a French home was sold on Sunday for €24 million (S$36 million), about five times the initial estimate. The Acteon auction house did not identify the winning bidd
PHOTO: REUTERS

A rare masterpiece by Italian early Renaissance master Cimabue that was discovered in a French home was sold on Sunday for €24 million (S$36 million), about five times the initial estimate. The Acteon auction house did not identify the winning bidder for the painting, Christ Mocked, at the sale outside Paris. The selling price smashed the initial estimate of between €4 million and €6 million. It is the first time in decades that a painting by Cimabue (1272-1302), also known as Cenni di Pepo, has gone under the hammer. Experts last month announced the sensational discovery of the painting which was owned by a woman in the northern French town of Compiegne, who had it hanging above the cooking hotplate in her open-plan kitchen. She believed it was merely an old religious icon when she took it to the auctioneers to be valued.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2019, with the headline 'Renaissance painting found in kitchen fetches $36 million at auction'. Print Edition | Subscribe