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Cimabue painting found in kitchen sells for €24m at auction

Plus: Sotheby’s appoints Charles F. Stewart as chief executive officer | Ancient cave paintings attributed to Neanderthals may have been misdated | Hugo Crosthwaite wins National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.’s triennial portrait prize

28 October 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Cimabue found in kitchen sells for €24m at auction | A small painting by the early Renaissance painter Cimabue, The Mocking of Christ (c. 1280), which was found in the kitchen of an anonymous French woman’s house earlier this year, has sold for €24m at Actéon auction house in Senlis, France. The work was believed to be an Russian icon until it was spotted by the auctioneer Philomène Wolf, who had visited the house to value its furniture. It has since been identified as a panel from a larger sequence by Cimabue – two panels to which it was probably once joined are in the collections of the National Gallery in London and the Frick Collection in New York. Actéon has not named the highest bidder. In this Apollo article, Donal Cooper outlines the immense importance of the work’s chance discovery.

Sotheby’s appoints Charles F. Stewart as chief executive officer | Charles F. Stewart was announced today as the new chief executive officer of Sotheby’s. Stewart joins the auction house from Altice USA, where he has served as co-president and chief financial officer since 2016. He replaces Tad Smith, who has become a senior adviser and shareholder.

Ancient cave paintings attributed to Neanderthals may have been misdated | The dating of ancient rock art from three Spanish caves, which in February 2018 was reported to be some 65,000 years old and consequently attributed to Neanderthals, has been called into question in a report published last week in the Journal of Human Evolution claiming that the paintings may in fact be some tens of thousands of years more recent. The researchers are calling for radiocarbon and thermoluminescence dating to corroborate the original attribution, which was established using uranium-thorium dating techniques. If the artworks are found to be younger, they may be reattributed to Stone Age humans.

Hugo Crosthwaite wins National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition | The artist Hugo Crosthwaite, who lives and works in San Diego, has been named the winner of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.’s triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. The award was established in 2006 and offers a prize of $25,000 and a commission for the museum’s permanent collection to a portraitist who is challenging existing definitions of the genre.

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