Lucretia raised at least € 800,000 as interest in the painters of the post-Caravaggio era.
A girl is looking at the Italian baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi’s painting ‘ Lucretia. ‘Photograph: via Getty Images, Bertrand Guay / AFP
A recently discovered painting by Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi from the 17th century will be up for auction next week in Paris in the midst of an increase in interest in her dramatic work. The auction house Artcurial will be giving a base price of € 600,000-€800,000 (£ 518,000-£690,000) to the painting Lucretia on Wednesday.
Lucretia was discovered only recently in a private collection in the French city of Lyon, where it had been stored unrecognised for some 40 years, Artcurial stated.
The painting portrays Lucretia, an ancient Roman noblewoman who, after being raped, killed herself, showing her bare-breasted and plunging a knife into her chest.
The work is “worthy of the great museums of the world” and “comes to us in an exceptional state of conservation”, said an art expert, Eric Turquin.
It is extremely rare for the works of Gentileschi to be put on the market and it is expected that the painting will go to a private buyer. The record for her art is the € 2.8 million paid for a St. Catherine painting sold in 2017 in Paris.

The self-portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi as Saint Catherine of Alexandria sold € 2.8 million for her work, a record. Photograph: Heritage Photo Partnership Ltd.
The painting of Lucretia shows a “desire to shock, force through a point and find the viewer which is Caravaggio-esque”, Turquin added.
The depiction of Lucretia in the painting was described by Matthieu Fournier, director of the department of old masters at Artcurial as “autobiographical.”
“Artemisia’s story is just like that of Lucretia story, except that Artemisia has decided for her life on another outcome.
“She was raped by her Tassi, Orazio Gentileschi, who worked with her father. She decided to open a court for him to be convicted. She’s won. So she gave her life as a woman and her career as an artist a destiny of salvation.”The National Gallery in London will hold the first major exhibition of her art in Britain next year, putting together 35 works from around the world, in a sign of Artemisia’s increasing popularity.


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