A rare painting discovered by chance during a routine inventory check at a French home has fetched €600,000 at auction.
The piece was painted by Pieter Brueghel the Younger - son of the master Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder - around 1615.
It was stumbled upon at a home in Amboise (Indre-et-Loire) near Tours.
An unnamed Swiss buyer bought the piece at an auction in Paris on Tuesday (March 28), although it’s unclear whether the purchase was for a museum or a private collection.
Despite its previous storage location, the piece was in remarkably good condition, contributing to the final cost of the painting.
Found by chance behind a door
Best known for making copies of his father’s work, Brueghel the Younger also created a number of original pieces himself.
The former owners of the painting thought the piece was a copy, nicknaming it “the crust”, and had left the painting idly behind a door.
During a routine inventory check, however, it caught the eye of auctioneer Mairo de Lussac, an avid art historian who believed it to be a genuine piece.
Despite not being signed, the painting was quickly verified as genuine by art historians.
The painting was expected to fetch between €600,000 and €800,000 at the auction, with the final bid being on the lower side of estimations.
With all of the additional costs, however, the Swiss buyer will pay €780,000.
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