A Long-Lost Religious Panel Set a $4 Million Auction Record for Northern Renaissance Artist Bernhard Strigel


A regional French auction dwelling just created €3.5 million ($4 million) on a religious panel recently attributed to the Northern Renaissance painter Bernhard Strigel. The one-great deal sale on Friday, February 4, was arranged by the Toulouse auction residence Artpaugée soon after the function was appraised and attributed by experts from the Paris-based Cabinet Turquin.

The portray depicts a thurifer (or incense-bearing) angel, and the sale took location in a Carmelite chapel. In a drama worthy of one particular of New York’s marquee evening product sales, 7 global bidders duked it out about the phones for 15 minutes, elevating the last rate to €3,472,000 with charges. When the hammer came down, it set a new history for Strigel, far more than a few instances the German painter’s prior file, obtained in 2008 for a companion piece from the same altarpiece that is now in the assortment of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The sale was adopted by a spherical of applause from people in the home for the two young auctioneers, Pauline Marigne and Géraldine Martres, who found the do the job all through the study course of a schedule insurance policies valuation of objects from the estate of a client’s mom previous July.

“In the middle of a relatively classic set was this attractive angel,” Maringe informed Artnet Information. “When I discovered it, I was straight away struck by the extremely large pictorial quality, by its feeling of quantity, of the procedure of the place all around the central determine, by the preciousness of the specifics. It was in a outstanding state of preservation. By turning it about, I was equipped to affirm the outdated dating, thanks to the wonderful wooden panel. It was certainly a higher-good quality painting.”

Infrared scan of Bernhard Strigel, Ange thuriféraire vêtu d’une tunique jaune. © Atelier Catherine Polnecq.

Maringe despatched it to Cabinet Turquin—the company led by the French Aged Grasp qualified Eric Turquin, which has grow to be renowned for recognizing masterpieces considering the fact that it discovered a Caravaggio sleeper six many years ago—for appraisal. 

“When I noticed the photo, I realized that I was just before an amazing do the job of art, fascinating,” specialist Philippine Motais de Narbonne from Cupboard Turquin explained, recalling how she agreed to take on the challenge with Turquin’s group of experts and researchers. She identified that it was related in matter, content, and dimensions to the Abu Dhabi panel depicting a thurifer angel—which she experienced researched when residing in the UAE. Scientific investigation, such as infrared and X-ray scans revealing the underdrawing, confirmed her suspicion that it was component of the similar altarpiece, probably the Altarpiece of the Deposition that Strigel created in 1521–22 for the Church of Our Lady in Memmingen, which was broken up at a sale in 1813, and which is still to be absolutely recovered. 

“When the sale is effectively prepared, a painting will offer for the maximum value,” Motais de Narbonne stated, adding that the final result was “very satisfying” for the long exploration undertaken by Turquin. For the auctioneers, the sale proves that  major performs do not need to be provided at the primary properties in Paris in get to bring in severe bidders. “Today, a portray of this high-quality can be bought just as perfectly by provincial auction houses this kind of as ours,” Margine reported.

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