'Risqué' Attic Painting Sells for $4.1M

Hidden away because it showed a breast
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2008 3:27 AM CST
This painting, by Tiepolo discovered in an attic in a French chateau, fetched $4 million at auction.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
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(Newser) – A provocative 18th Century painting, hidden in the attic of a French chateau for decades because it featured a woman with a breast exposed, has fetched $4.1 million from an anonymous buyer at a Christie's auction in London, reports the Daily Telegraph. The price was three times its estimated value.

Christie's international director called  the painting—Portrait of a Lady as Flora by Italian master Giambattista Tiepolo—"one of the most extraordinary discoveries of recent years." The work has "lain untouched in the same private collection for over 200 years and remains breathtakingly similar to the way it would have been immediately after it left the artist's easel," he said.