Lost Caravaggio Painting
The discovery of a Caravaggio painting in a French attic has finally sold in mysterious and dramatic fashion. The painting, worth up to $170 million is now with its mysterious foreign buyer. Purchasing the painting with much fanfare, just two days before the auction. A man who was clearing his loft had the painting identified by art expert Eric Turquin. He identified the work as a lost work of Italian master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The painting’s subject is, “Judith and Holofernes,”. It illustrates a grisly passage from the Old Testament’s Book of Judith. Showing the eponymous young widow beheading the Assyrian general Holofernes after seducing him in his tent. The commissioning of the painting is circa 1600.
After its discovery, French authorities decided to restrict exportation with a ban on the work. Consequently, citing its importance to the art world and a need to “fully investigate” the piece. Announcing in February at a press conference, that the painting would be auctioned on June 27. Fully expecting it to receive upwards of $170 million. However, a mystery buyer described by art specialist Turquin as “someone close to an important museum” stepped in to secure the Caravaggio painting.
Private Buyer Sale
For now, the buyer remains anonymous. Auction house Marc Labarbe and art specialist Turquin said in a statement that the work had been “sold privately to a foreign buyer,”. In addition, the purchase price and identity of the buyer are unattainable due to a confidentiality agreement.
In addition, the location of the painting is another murky detail. However, auctioneers said in a statement that “the painting will consequently be leaving French soil,”. Finally, Turquin added that the painting would soon be displayed “in an important museum.”
“We received an offer that could not be ignored and which we communicated to the owners of the painting. The fact that the offer came from someone close to an important museum convinced the sellers to accept,” Turquin said in a statement.
While rigorously analyzing the painting for over five years. Critics seemed confident with the authenticity of the painting. With special attention given to the work’s technical, stylistic and historical detail to confirm its validity.
Critics believe the work to be the second on the same subject. Caravaggio’s first depiction of Judith and Holofernes painted circa 1600 hangs in Rome’s Palazzo Barberini.