Updated September 24, An early Renaissance masterpiece by the Florentine master Cimabue has been discovered in an elderly woman's kitchen in a town near Paris, according to art experts. They said the work was owned by an old lady in the northern French town of Compiegne who had it hanging between her kitchen and her sitting room. The painting is thought to be part of a large diptych dating back to , when Cimabue painted eight scenes depicting Christ's passion and crucifixion. The scene in the National Gallery was also lost for centuries, and only found when a British aristocrat was clearing his ancestral seat in Suffolk. The French painting's elderly owner thought it was just a rather old religious icon when she took it to her local auctioneers to be valued.
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An early Renaissance masterpiece by the Florentine painter Cimabue has been discovered in a kitchen on the outskirts of a town north of Paris, where it might have been binned during a house clearance if an auctioneer had not spotted it. It had been hanging between her open-plan kitchen and her living room, arousing little interest from the family, who assumed it was a standard religious icon. Although it was placed directly above a hotplate for cooking food, the picture was in good condition. In June this year, when the woman decided to sell her house and move away, an expert at an auctioneers in Senlis was contacted to look at the contents, furniture and furnishings of the s-built house in case some of it could be sold. Wolf said she spotted the painting as soon as she entered the house. I immediately thought it was a work of Italian primitivism. The auctioneer, who began her job at the auction house only last year, suggested the woman bring the painting, measuring 20cm by 24cm, to experts for an evaluation. The woman and her family have insisted on remaining anonymous. But they told the auction house that for years they had thought it was simply an old religious icon from Russia. The painting was deemed to be a rare work by the Florence-born Cimabue, also known as Cenni di Pepo, one of the pioneering artists of the early Italian Renaissance.