Early Renaissance painting found in French kitchen
SENLIS, France (AFP) — A rare masterpiece by Italian early Renaissance master Cimabue that was discovered in a French kitchen was sold on Sunday for 24 million euros ($26.6 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 in Senlis, outside Paris.
The selling price smashed the initial estimate of between four million and six million euros.
Bidding began at three million euros, with only three of the eight bidders present at the auction.
It is the first time in decades that a painting by Cimabue, a pioneering primitive painter who lived from 1272-1302 and is also known as Cenni di Pepo, has gone under the hammer. Acteon said the figure was the highest ever reached for a mediaeval painting and the eighth-highest ever reached for a medieval or old master painting.
The highest figure ever reached for a painting was the $450 million paid for the Salvator Mundi attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and sold at auction in 2017.