Once abandoned in a farm shed, a rediscovered Anthony van Dyck painting has sold for over $US3 million ($4.2 million) at auction.
It’s one of only two large studies that van Dyck crafted from live models. It was likely painted between 1615 and 1618, according to Sotheby’s, while van Dyck was a young artist working alongside Peter Paul Rubens in Antwerp. And the oil painting also has an unexpected provenance.
The study was only recently identified as a work of van Dyck, said Sotheby’s in a statement shared with CNN.
The piece was discovered in the late 20th century in a farm shed in Kinderhook, New York.
“The person who found it, Albert B Roberts, was a passionate collector of ‘lost’ pieces, describing his collection as ‘an orphanage for lost art that had suffered from neglect’,” said the auction house.
Roberts bought the derelict painting for just $US600 ($845), according to Sotheby’s.
Shortly after, art historian Susan J Barnes published an article in which she recognised the piece as a “surprisingly well preserved” work by van Dyck.
The painting sold for $US3.1 million ($4.4 million) on Thursday.
It was offered to Sotheby’s by Roberts’ estate. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Albert B Roberts Foundation, which provides financial support to artists and other charities, according to the auction house.