Experts say it's likely by master Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
Need inspiration to finally clean out your attic? You could find a $136 million painting.
That may be the fate of a family who ventured into a sealed-off part of their attic in southwestern France to fix a leaky roof. There, they stumbled upon a 400-year-old painting believed to be by Italian master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, reported the Los Angeles Times. The painting, discovered covered in dust in 2014, was unveiled for the first time Tuesday at a news conference in Paris.
"A painter is like us, he has tics, and you have all the tics of Caravaggio in this," French art expert Eric Turquin told Reuters TV. "Not all of them, but many of them — enough to be sure that this is the hand, this is the writing of this great artist."
If it is, it could be worth 120 million euros, or $136 million, Turquin said.
The painting, "Judith Beheading Holofernes," is estimated to have been completed between 1600 and 1610. Painting history 101: In the Book of Judith, which is in the Roman Catholic and Easter Orthodox scriptures, biblical figure Judith beheads the Assyrian general Holofernes as his forces attack her city.
Caravaggio made his mark as an artist around the turn of the 17th century. His biblical work often features violent themes — such as his 1607 painting "The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist" and his 1610 work "David with the Head of Goliath.
Some art experts question the authenticity of the painting. However, it may be impossible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Caravaggio held the paintbrush to the work himself.
"One has to recognize the canvas in question as a true original of the Lombard master, almost certainly identifiable, even if we do not have any tangible or irrefutable proof," said Caravaggio expert Nicola Spinoza in an assessment, according to French media outlet AFP.
Reuters reported that French authorities have banned the painting from leaving the country, describing it in a decree as a work of "great artistic value, that could be identified as a lost painting by Caravaggio."
Excuse us as we go scout our attics for priceless masterpieces.
Source: ELLE Decor, 4/13/2016