On October 27, 2019, the masterpiece of the Italian primitive painter Cimabue (1272-1302), “The Mocking of Christ,” was auctioned for over 24 million euro at an auction in Senlis, France, north of Paris.
This small painting (25.8 cm by 20.3 cm), painted with egg and gold on a poplar panel, is one of the eight elements of a polyptych of 1280 in which the scenes from the Passion of Christ were represented. Two of the scenes were known to date: The “Flagellation of Christ” (Frick Collection, New York), and the “Madonna and Child” (National Gallery, London).
The auction house did not disclose the name or profile of the purchaser. Among the eight bidders were several museums. This sale makes it the most expensive primitive painting in the world, just a few weeks ago it was hanging in a hallway, between the living room and the kitchen of a house Compiegne. The family thought it was a simple icon.