It is a rare object that was discovered in an apartment in downtown Toulouse (Haute-Garonne) this summer. According to La Dépêche du Midi, the panel of an altarpiece (a set of wooden panels placed behind the altar in churches) dated 1520 and painted by the German Bernhard Strigel, was found by a family who carried out an inventory at their home. The precious panel will go on auction next month in a chapel in the city.
“It was under a pile of forgotten paintings, tells our colleagues Pauline Maringe, auctioneer for the company Artpaugée in Toulouse. It represents an angel holding a censer and is particularly well preserved. It was a wonderful surprise. The owner himself was very moved at the sight of this angel who, according to him, had to protect his family ”.
Another panel of the same altarpiece sold for 1 million euros
This piece of altarpiece has been authenticated because one of the panels composing it has already been acquired by the Louvre of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) for more than one million euros at auction in 2008. This was also of an angel at the censer by Bernhard Strigel.
“Everything is similar: the wood, the essence, the dimensions and the composition with the figure of the angel occupying the entire canvas. It is also the ‘paw’ of the painter Bernhard Strigel, ”continues the auctioneer. The altarpiece is said to have been commissioned by the church in Memmingen, Germany, the painter’s birthplace.
Other parts of this religious object are said to be on display in museums in Germany and the United Kingdom. Pauline Maringe hopes that the work will remain in Toulouse or in France after its purchase. But to be sure of this, “the State would have to name it National Treasure”.