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4 December 2023, 09:17

Sensational discovery in Naples: lost masterpiece by Sandro Botticelli found, valued at €100 million

Sensational discovery in Naples: lost masterpiece by Sandro Botticelli found, valued at €100 million
The lost painting "Madonna and Child" by the Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli was discovered near Naples in a private house. According to experts, this masterpiece was considered lost for the last 50 years, because for unknown reasons, information about it disappeared from the archives of Italian state art.

The painting was found in a private collection after years of searching by a group of scientists and artists. Known for its emotional depth and exquisite detail, the work surprised the art community. However, unfortunately, its condition is of great concern to experts — numerous scuffs and stains caused by oxidation of varnishes. At present, the canvas has been handed over for restoration.

Along with this, art critics emphasize that "Madonna and Child" is an extraordinary example for studying Botticelli's style and technique. The picture is distinguished by skill in portraying images and the use of light effects that defined the Renaissance era.

"Madonna and Child", dating from the 15th century, is considered one of Botticelli's favorite works. As noted by the artist historian Peppe Di Massa, the image of the Madonna was inspired by Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci, the artist's lover, who died at the age of 23. This is one of Botticelli's last works.
Photo source: theguardian.com
Photo source: theguardian.com
The artist later presented the painting to Pope Sixtus IV, who then gave it to a small village church in the municipality of Santa Maria la Carita in Naples. The purpose of this donation was to obtain support from the Medici family to finance the completion of the Sistine Chapel.

At the moment, there was also a question about the legality of keeping the painting during these 50 years in a private collection. If they decide that it was illegal, then the canvas will become the property of the state. If it is confirmed that the painting was in a private collection on legal grounds, after restoration it will remain the property of the family and will be displayed in the museum.

Experts estimate this masterpiece at €100 million.

Source: theguardian.com

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