A technician works on the hanging of a painting believed by some experts to be Caravaggio's "Judith Beheading Holofernes" for its public presentation at the Marc Labarbe auction house on June 16, 2019 in Toulouse before it goes under the hammer next June 27, five years after it was discovered in the attic of an old house in Toulouse. ERIC CABANIS / AFP.
by Hervé Gavard in Toulouse with Fiachra Gibbons in Paris
A painting thought to be a "lost masterpiece" by Italian painter Caravaggio has been bought two days before it was due to go under the hammer in France. "Judith and Holofernes", which was found under an old mattress in the attic of a house in the French city of Toulouse, was snapped up by a foreign buyer, the auction house selling it said on Tuesday. Art expert Eric Turquin -- who authenticated the painting -- said it was worth between 100 and 150 million euros (up to $170 million), although several Italian specialists have doubts about the canvas. But Turquin, France's leading authority on Old Masters paintings, had staked his reputation on the work being the fiery artist's lost "Judith and Holofernes". The painting depicting a grisly biblical scene of the beautiful ... More