Caravaggio masterpiece at auction soon
Disappeared for several centuries, rediscovered in Toulouse (France) in 2014, the painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio ‘Judith and Holofernes’, the authenticity of which has been the subject of a long debate, should reach peaks at the auction of June 27.
“This is an exceptional sale because it is a masterpiece in a very good condition, of an iconic painter whose painting have not been sold until today’s public auction, “said Marc Labarbe.
Like the version of the painting under the same name created around 1598 and kept in Rome, the masterpiece is inspired by an episode of the Old Testament and represents Judith, the Jewish widow of Bethulia, assassinating the Assyrian General Holofernes to save besieged town.
The painting found in Toulouse was first known for its copy by the Flemish painter Louis Finson, a contemporary of Caravaggio. Two specialists of the Italian genius, Mina Gregori and Gianni Papi, had doubts of the authenticity of the canvas, insisting it could be only a second copy of Finson.
‘Judith and Holofernes’ has been exhibited in Milan, London, New York and Paris and will be on display in Toulouse from June 17 to 23 at the Marc Labarbe auction house. The auction will be held on June 27 at 6 pm at La Halle aux Grains in Toulouse and can be followed live online streaming.
According to art experts the price could mount up to EUR150 million, and it would be purchased by one of the American private collectors. None of European Museums announced allocation of funds to participate in auction bidding.