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Long-lost artwork worth $8.7M found in woman’s kitchen

A 13th-century painting by Italian artist Cimabue was found in an elderly woman's home in Compiegne, France.
A 13th-century painting by Italian artist Cimabue was found in an elderly woman's home in Compiegne, France. Michel Euler/Canadian Press

One woman’s kitchen decor is another’s million-dollar painting.

A piece of art dating back to the 13th century was discovered hanging above a hot plate in an elderly woman’s kitchen in Compiègne, a commune in northern France.

It’s titled The Mocking of Christ, part of a series of paintings by Italian painter Cimabue, also known as Cenni di Pepo.

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It’s also thought to be worth a pretty penny — up to $8.7 million, according to the BBC. The unnamed owner has had it valued.

According to an art expert, there’s “no disputing” the origins of the artwork.

“The painting was done by the same hand,” Éric Turquin told French newspaper Le Figaro.

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Much of Cimabue’s work hangs at the Louvre in Paris.

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Forgotten Group of Seven painting found at Oxford
Forgotten Group of Seven painting found at Oxford

His work The Madonna and Child in Majesty Surrounded by Angels is there and is believed to be part of a series of panels that once included The Mocking of Christ.

The panels put together as a whole, the BBC reports, are known as a polyptych. The one in question, dating from 1280, depicts Christ’s passion and crucifixion.

This piece, if authentic, is one of few surviving works by Cimabue. According to the Guardian, his surviving works were documented by Giorgio Vasari in his 1550 book The Lives of the Artists.

Caravaggio painting ‘Judith and Holofernes’ was unveiled at a press conference in London in February.
Caravaggio painting ‘Judith and Holofernes’ was unveiled at a press conference in London in February. Andy Rain/Canadian Press

As it turns out, discovering valuable pieces of artwork is not totally unheard of.

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In 2014, a painting of Judith and Holofernes, attributed to Italian painter Caravaggio, appeared in an attic in Toulouse.

The 400-year-old piece, which was found under an old mattress, sold for a whopping $218 million at auction this year.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca