Painting found in attic could fetch €150 million at auction

Painting found in an attic in Toulouse is a Caravaggio original and will be auctioned on June 27.

In 2014, French auctioneer Marc Labarbe received a phone call from a friend who had stumbled upon a strange find: after a flood in the attic of his house in Toulose, the man found a picture which seemed "to have value." Two years after the painting was cleaned and studied, art history expert Eric Turquin concluded that the painting had 'value' indeed: Turquin identified it as ' Judith and Holofernes', a lost painting by the master of Milanese baroque Caravaggio (1571- 1610), who has only 68 paintings attributed to him, and will be auctioned on June 27, in Toulouse, for €150 million.

"This is the most incredible painting I've ever found," Turquin told CNN. The painting depicts a passage from the Old Testament's Book of Judith. Judith was a widow from the city of Bethulia, under siege by the army of Assyrian general Holofernes. To save the city, she seduced the general in his tent before beheading him. "It is a very violent painting. It's almost unbearable. Caravaggio is an artist who embodies the text, making it alive," the expert says.

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