“Christ Mocked”, Cimabue – auction record!

Christ Mocked, (Cenni di Pepo) Cimabue, c 1240 – 1302.  Painted on wood – 26cm x 20cm (Detail)

This rare tiny painting, part of a larger polyptych depicting the crucifixion of Christ, was sold at auction today (27 October 2019) for €24m, making it the most expensive medieval painting ever sold and ranking Cimabue amongst da Vinci, Rubens, Rembrandt and Raphael for the world’s most expensive old Masters’ sales values.

The painting was discovered by chance in the kitchen of a 1960s house, in a town north of Paris, where it had been ignored for decades as an old icon from Russia.  Little is known of Cimabue.  He was believed to be the teacher of Giotto who has long been said to have “truly eclipsed Cimabue’s fame just as a great light eclipses a much smaller one.”


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