A peeled portrait of him Frederic Chopin purchased at flea market in Poland hung humbly in a private home for almost three decades, before an expert dated the painting to the 19th century, when the Polish piano composer.
Now restored and in a gilded frame, the small painting is in a bank vault somewhere in the east Poland, while its owners are negotiating their next steps, including a public exhibition.
The news about the existence of the work of art made its appearance last week, as the Warsaw hosted the 18th piano competition Frederic Chopin, an international event, which aims to launch and kick-start the career of world-class pianists. The competition lasts until October 23.
His teacher University of Nicolaus Copernicus, Darius Markowski, the art expert who examined and restored the portrait last year, says it has significant historical and emotional value, but declined to give an estimate of how much it could sell.
The painting measures 29.5 cm by 23.3 cm (11.5 inches by 9 inches.) Using advanced methods, Dariusz Markowski dated its creation to the mid-19th century based on the materials and dyes used and the extent of aging and damage.
“It is no longer possible to determine the year of its creation precisely and it will be difficult to determine who painted it because only the artist’s first name appears, Alfred », Darius Markowski told the Associated Press.
“It simply came to our notice then Chopin“but I can not say if he posed for this portrait or if it is painted from another image”, he added. Markovsky, director of the department of preservation and restoration of contemporary art of the city university Torun.
“We do not know anything about his story or who he was painted for,” he said. “It was in a very bad condition and I am very happy that works of art can be saved.”
THE Chopin was born in 1810 in a mansion in Zelazova Vola, a village near Warsaw, from Poland mother and French father. He left her Poland at 19 to expand his music education at Vienna and then to Paris, where he settled, composing, giving concerts and teaching piano.
He died at Paris on October 17, 1849 and was buried in the cemetery Per Lasage, but his heart is kept in Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw.
An art connoisseur spotted the portrait – that o Markovsky calls it “real curiosity” – at an outdoor market near Lublin in the early 1990s. Decades later, a difficult financial situation pushed the family to seek a professional appraisal, which led them to the university specialist.
One family member says it is “extraordinary” that the painting survived about 170 years of historical turmoil and ended up in an open-air market.
He added that the recent attention the family showed to the portrait made him study his life and music. Chopin.