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A truly exceptional auctionCaravaggio in Toulouse

A canvas that was unearthed in Toulouse will be displayed and then sold at auction right here in the Ville Rose. When you realise that this is actually a lost work by Caravaggio, this slightly curious story takes on a truly incredible dimension...

Treasure in the attic

This is one of those outlandish tales that come up from time to time in the art world. In 2014, a Toulouse family needed access to their roof to fix a leak. Once up there they found a small canvas that depicted Judith beheading Holophernes, hidden away in the eaves. Since then, several experts have authenticated this work as having been created by the famous Italian painter Caravaggio, the grand master of the XVII Century.

The existence of this painting was known only in stories and it was thought to have disappeared around 1619. It was in Naples that Caravaggio created this work:  in 1607 he left Rome, fleeing the city because of a dreadful assassination. During his stay there he painted « Judith and Holophernes », a Biblical tale taken from his beloved Old Testament. Whilst it is hard to explain how this work went from Naples to Toulouse, it is easier to understand why France has designated it a « National Treasure » so that, until now, it has been barred from being taken out of the country.

Une toile du Caravage à Toulouse
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Where can we see this piece?

From 17th to 23rd June, the work will be on display in Toulouse at the Marc Labarbe auction house. The public will be able to admire this powerful painting and its brutal realism every afternoon before it leaves to an as yet unknown destination, as the canvas will go up for auction on Thursday 27th June at 6pm. What is unusual is that the auction will take place right here in the Ville Rose, at the Halle aux Grains, and the session will be open to the general public = THE AUCTION IS CANCELED, THE PAINTING IS SOLD.

This provides an opportunity to attend a truly extraordinary event, organised for the very first time outside of Paris. It is worth noting that the canvas has a guide price of over one hundred million Euros...

Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio or Le Caravage (1571- 1610)
Judith and Holophernes (circa 1607). Canvas 144cm x 173.5cm
© Cabinet Turquin


The work is on display from 17th to 23rd June at the Hôtel des Ventes Saint-Aubin - 3, Boulevard Michelet, from 2pm to 6pm.

The auction takes place on Thursday 27th June at the Halle aux Grains - 1 Place Dupuy.

Maison des ventes Marc Labarbe - 3, boulevard Michelet
Tél : 05 61 23 58 78 -

Judith et Holopherne - Le Caravage
Cabinet Turquin