A painting which had been hanging above a hot plate used for cooking food is now set to go under the hammer on October 27 at the Acteon auction house in Senlis, north of Paris and is expected to fetch up to 6 million Euros ($6.59 million).
"Christ Mocked", a work by the 13th century, was discovered in the kitchen of an elderly woman from the town of Compiegne, near Paris. It is an artwork by Italian painter Cimabue, the pseudonym of artist Cenni di Pepo, born in Florence around the year 1240, master of Giotto. There are only eleven of his paintings in the world. The work is part of a diptych made in 1280 when the artist painted eight scenes centered on the passion and crucifixion of Christ. The pictorial layer remains in "excellent condition." The style of painting, the gold background, and traces of the old frame helped experts identify the painting as part of the triptych.
Art historians used infrared light to analyze the work and determined that there was "no disputing that the painting was done by the same hand" as Cimabue's other work. The French woman thought was a Greek religious icon. The unsuspecting owner did not know where the 25.8 x 20.3 centimeter painting came from. This will be the first ever Cimabue painting to be auctioned.