The Italian painter, Cimabue, is widely considered the ‘father of the renaissance’, a title he was given due to the fact that he was one of, if not the first, artist to break away from the Byzantine style. This opened up a new era of painting in which artists began to incorporate elements of movement and perspective that came to characterise western painting.
This is exactly why it’s a big deal that one of Cimabue’s original paintings was recently found to be kept between the kitchen and dining room of an elderly French woman’s house. Interestingly, the 90-year-old stated that it had been there so long she has no idea where it came from or who is responsible for finding it.
Experts examined the 740-year-old piece and predicted that it would likely collect between £3.4m to £5.2m at auction, a figure that is so high simply due to the fact that despite Cimabue’s reputation, this is the only one of his work’s that has come to market. Well, after the painting made its way to the Actéon auction house in Senlis, the hammer fell with the highest bidder having to part with over £20m.
The room was said to be silent as offers carried on surpassing the eye-watering prices, with the auctioneer even stating at one point: “There will never be another Cimabue at auction.”