Painting found at bus stop could sell for $32 million

Painting found at bus stop could sell for $32 million
Painting found at bus stop could sell for $32 million

Hakim Mokadem
06/14/2024 at 09:00Updated 06/14/2024 at 3:37 p.m.

Stolen twice before being found at a bus stop in the British capital, a work by the famous Italian painter Titian is expected to fetch $32 million at an auction this summer.

A Renaissance painting at a crazy price. A painting by the famous Italian painter Titian, stolen twice before being found at a London bus stop, is expected to fetch $32 million at an auction this summer, according to a CNN story.

Entitled “Rest during the Flight into Egypt”, the work offered for sale by Christie’s is estimated between 19 and 32 million dollars – or 17 and 29 million euros – according to a press release from the legendary British institution. .

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Dating from the 16th century

This oil on canvas depicts Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Joseph resting on the way to Egypt after learning that Herod, king of Judea, wanted to kill Christ. Titian, whose real name is Tiziano Vecellio, created this work during the first decade of the 16th century, at the very beginning of his career as an artist.

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Measuring just 46.2 centimeters by 62.9 centimeters, the painting is tiny in comparison to some of the much more massive works that made the Venetian painter and printmaker famous. But in a unique way this painting has an astonishing story.

Discovered in a shopping bag

After changing ownership several times – passing through the hands of several European aristocrats – the painting was stolen by Napoleon’s troops during the French occupation of Vienna in 1809 before being taken to Paris.

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He returned to the Austrian capital in 1815, wandering from collectors to auction houses before finding a base with John Alexander Thynne, 4th Marquess of Bath (in Wiltshire, England) and British diplomat.

The painting was found in a shopping bag.

© PA Photos/ABACA

But in 1995 there was a twist: the painting was stolen from Longleat, the residence of Thynne’s descendants, and disappeared for seven years before being found in a shopping bag at a London bus stop by art detective Charles Hill . The painting will be offered for sale at Christie’s auction house in London on July 2.

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