ECONOMY & WORK
MONEY 101
NEWS
PERSONAL FINANCE
NET WORTH
About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use DMCA Opt-out of personalized ads
© Copyright 2023 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.
MARKETREALIST.COM / NEWS

Renaissance-era Titian masterpiece found at London bus stop could sell for $32 million

The Titian masterpiece that depicts Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus has an incredible history.
UPDATED JUN 21, 2024
A member of staff poses with a painting by Italian Renaissance painter, Titian, titled 'Rest On The Flight Into Egypt' | Getty Images | Photo by Carl Court
A member of staff poses with a painting by Italian Renaissance painter, Titian, titled 'Rest On The Flight Into Egypt' | Getty Images | Photo by Carl Court

A Renaissance-era painting that was stolen twice in the past may sell for up to $32 million at a Christie’s auction in London next month. The painting called “The Rest on the Flight into Egypt” was last stolen from a nobleman’s home in England and found at a London bus stop, wrapped in a plastic bag. Created by Italian Renaissance master Titian, the painting is one of the most coveted pieces of artwork in the world, as per Christie's.



 

 

The painting depicts Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus resting under a tree en route to Egypt, as per CNN. The three left for Egypt to seek safety from King Herod, whom Joseph dreamed wanted to kill Jesus.

“Her feet planted firmly on the ground, the Madonna wraps Jesus in a protective embrace at the center of the canvas,” according to the description of the painting on Christie’s website.

 'Rest On The Flight Into Egypt' at Christies on June 18, 2024 in London | Getty Images | Photo by Carl Court
'Rest On The Flight Into Egypt' at Christies on June 18, 2024 in London | Getty Images | Photo by Carl Court

The artwork captures an intimate moment of tenderness between mother and son. Baby Jesus appears to be somewhat fidgety, leaning into his mother and tugging at her hair, the description further reads.

The painter, Titian, whose real name was Tiziano Vecellio, created the piece in the first decade of the 16th century, which marked the beginning of his career. The painting was likely commissioned, but it is not known by whom, as per CBS Austin.

The painting is believed to be one of the last religious works from the artist’s celebrated early years. The artwork has mostly remained in private hands, and it is an outstanding example of Titian’s pioneering approach to painting the human form in the natural world, according to the Christie’s description.

The painting measures 18.25 inches by 24.75 inches (46.2cm x 62.9 cm). While the oil-on-canvas work is tiny in comparison to some of the other massive works of Titian, it has a remarkable history.  

The first recorded ownership of the painting was in the collection of Bartolomeo della Nave, a 17th-century Venetian spice merchant. The painting was sold to English nobleman, James Hamilton in 1638 and was subsequently sent to London, as per Christie’s.

The painting was then sold to Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria and shipped to Vienna. During the French occupation of the city in 1809, the painting was looted for the first time by Napoleonic troops.

The painting’s next owner was a Scottish landowner. Upon his death, it went under the hammer and Christie’s sold it to John Alexander Thynne, the fourth Marquess of Bath, England.

The painting was then stolen for the second time, from a nobleman’s home, the Longleat House in Wiltshire, in the southwest of England, in 1995. It was found seven years later by Charles Hill, an art detective.



 

It was reportedly found in a plastic bag at a bus stop in southwest London and it was returned to Longleat, per Christie’s. It isn’t clear who stole the painting, and where the painting was during its disappearance.

Coming to 2024, the painting is once again being sold by Christie’s at its “Art from antiquity to the 20th century” exhibition. The exhibition will be held from July 2 to 10 in London.

“This is a painting, then, that has been coveted by aristocrats, archdukes, and emperors alike: prized for its vividly colored scene of familial affection within the natural world,” Christie’s said in the statement.

As per the auction house’s estimates “The Rest on the Flight Into Egypt” could sell anywhere from approximately $19 million to $31.7 million (£15 million-£25 million).

POPULAR ON MARKET REALIST
MORE ON MARKET REALIST