10:26 am May 14, 2022
A family in Norfolk were amazed to learn that a painting that had hung in their hallway for decades could be worth tens of thousands of pounds.
The piece, depicting the Pantheon in Rome, remained largely unnoticed for 60 years and only gained attention when the house was packed.
Upon inspection, the family discovered that the work was by French artist Jean Victor Louis Faure.
Titled Market Day, the painting was purchased in 1965 by the owner’s father, Major H Mosse of Mendham Priory, Harleston in Norfolk.
It is expected to fetch up to £50,000 at auction.
Major H. Mosse’s son said: “My earliest memory of this photo was of the prominent place it occupied in the hallway of the family home for nearly 60 years, witnessing the comings and goings of the life of family, many great friends visiting and even a wedding reception.
“To most, it was simply seen as an impressive image occupying a large wall space with the occasional glance to acknowledge its existence.
“It wasn’t until the end, when the house was emptied and only the image still hanging on the wall in its same prominent position remained, which now stands out even more.
“It piqued my interest to learn a bit more about the artist Jean Victor Louis Faure, because obviously I had never thought of asking my parents while they were alive anything about the picture.
“Amazingly, this turned out to be an important rediscovery of that awe-inspiring image I had grown up with.”
The oil-on-canvas painting, which measures 1.21 meters by 1.72 meters, should be highly sought after by collectors around the world, as works by 19th-century painter Faure rarely appear at auction.
Brandon Lindberg, Director of Dreweatts British & European Pictures, said: “It is rare to find a work of this scale and age in such pristine and original condition.
“Faure’s work only occasionally comes to market and the example most comparable to this, sold over ten years ago for over £200,000, which is still the record price for the ‘artist.”
The painting will go under the hammer at a sale of Ancient, British and European Art at Dreweatts on May 26.