A long-lost painting by 13th century Italian master Cimabue that was found in the kitchen of an elderly French woman was sold for 24 million euros ($26.6 million), more than four times the pre-auction estimate, auction Acteon house said on Sunday (October 27).
The “Christ Mocked” painting by early Renaissance artist Cimabue discovered earlier this year had been valued at 4 million to 6 million euros.
Auction house Acteon did not reveal the identity of the bidder but said a foreign museum had been among the bidders.
Costs excluded, the painting sold for 19.5 million euros.
The tiny painting, measuring just 20 by 26 cm (approximately 8 by 10 inches), is believed to be part of a diptych consisting of eight small panels.
For years, the painting had hung close to a cooking plate in the kitchen of an elderly lady in Compiegne, north of Paris.
It was found to be a Cimabue when an auction house specialist came to value her possessions.
Born in Florence, Cimabue, also known as Cenni di Pepo, was a pioneering Italian primitive painter, of whom only about 10 known works have survived.
He was one of the first to use perspective and paint in a more natural style that broke with medieval and Byzantine traditions.