Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I just love re-discovered artwork stories...

... and this one is a cracker...
Two lost paintings by the Renaissance artist Fra Angelico have been discovered hanging behind a door in a modest two-bedroom terrace in Oxford.
The panels, which measure 15 x 5in (38 x 12cm) are expected to fetch more than £1 million at auction.
For more than 30 years they belonged to Jean Preston, a 77-year-old spinster who travelled everywhere by bus, and who was unaware of their significance until shortly before her death in July.
Each panel is painted with the standing figure of a Dominican Saint in tempera on a gold background. They had a probate value of £400 when Miss Preston's father bequeathed them to her in 1974. He was thought to have paid considerably less for them in America in the 1960s.
The discovery, hailed as one of the most exciting art finds for a generation, has solved a 200-year-old mystery.
The works were commissioned in the 1430s by Cosimo de Medici, patron of the Italian Renaissance, for the high altar at the Church and Convent of San Marco in Florence, where Angelico then lived.

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