Under the hammer of Dominique le Coënt, Acteon, a French consortium of auction houses in Senlis, Chantilly, Compiègne, Lille and Paris,The Mocking of Christ, a rare painting by Cimabue, has sold at auction for € 24,180,000 -$ 26,792,500.
Found hanging in a local family’s home near Compiègne by Acteon, the tiny painting (24,6X19,6cm – 9,6X7,7 inches) was authenticated by Cabinet Turquin. Initially estimated between 4 and 6 million euros, the painting becomes the most expensive pre-1500 old Master to have been sold at auction. Globally, the Senlis Cimabue is the 8th most expensive old Master to have been auction after Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi (2017), Rubens’s Massacre of the Innocents (2012), Rubens’s Lot and His Daughters (2016), Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Woman (2000), Raphaël’sPortrait of Lorenzo de Medicis (2007), and Canaletto’s Veduta del Canal Grande (2005). The beneficiary will be the old lady who sold the house and asked Acteon to clear it. They had a week to do it.
In front of an audience of more than 500 people, 8 competitors aggressively bid for this rare painting by Cimabue, the 13th century Florentine painter renowned as one of the greatest pre- renaissance artists, whose body of work is limited to ten works, of which none is signed and all in public collections. the buyer is a private individual.
Investigations of Cabinet Turquin had determined the painting belongs to a devotional panel of two elements painted with eight scenes from the Passion of Christ. The panel, titled The Mocking of Christ, joins the two other elements known to us today: the Flagellation which has been in the Frick Collection in New York since 1950 and Virgin and Child Enthroned surrounded by two angels, which was bought by the national gallery in London in 2000.