A long-lost painting by Bernhard Strigel is up for auction

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"Thurifer Angel in a yellow tunic" by Bernhard Strigel (circa 1521/1522)

A rare painting by German painter Bernhard Strigel will be offered for auction on February 4 at Artpaugée. This painting on wood was rediscovered last summer in a private home in the French city of Toulouse.

The "Angel in a Yellow Tunic" panel depicts an angel holding a thurible. This painting is the counterpart of another "thurifer angel" by Bernhard Strigel, currently held by the Louvre Abou Dhabi. These two oak panels were separated at an auction in 1813.

The origins of these two Renaissance masterpieces are still unclear. Art historian Ernst Büchner once confirmed that Bernhard Strigel made them around 1521 and 1522. The German painter had been commissioned to decorate the Church of Notre-Dame in Memmingen, which was dismantled during the Reformation.

Separated for more than 200 years, Bernhard Strigel's two thurifer angels have reappeared within a few years of each other. The one currently on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi reappeared for sale at Paris's Hôtel Drouot in 2008. The painting being auctioned at Artpaugée was gathering dust until last July in a private home in Toulouse.

Auction house Artpaugée was particularly enthusiastic about this find. "The fabulous rediscovery of these extremely rare and exceptional masterpieces is a valuable addition to the understanding of Bernhard Strigel's work and its important place in Renaissance history," we can read in the sales catalog of "L'Ange thuriféraire vêtu d'une tunique jaune."

This rare angel by Bernhard Strigel will soon go under the hammer at a major auction held in the Carmelite Chapel in Toulouse. It has been estimated at between 600,000 and 800,000 euros.

Caroline Drzewinski

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