Cimabue masterpiece found in kitchen sells for £20 million

A Renaissance masterpiece picture, hanging above an oven in a pensioner’s kitchen, has been sold for £20 million.

It was expected to fetch up to £5 million.

The price set a new world record for a medieval painting sold at auction.

The painting – “Christ Mocked” – is by Cimabue and was completed in 1280.

The owner had it hanging between her kitchen and living room, directly above a hotplate.

She thought it was just an old religious icon until it was seen by her local auctioneer in Compiegne, near Paris.

Cimabue painted eight pictures of Christ’s passion and crucifixion.

This painting is thought to be part of a diptych – one of two hinged pictures.

Two others from the series hang in the National Gallery in London.

Early Renaissance art was strongly influenced by Byzantine works.

Auctioneer Dominique Le Coent said:

“When a unique work of a painter as rare as Cimabue comes to market, you have to be ready for surprises.”

The auction was held in Senlis, north of Paris.

About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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