The work, missing since the Second World War, was discovered thanks to an internet search alert
By Séverine Petit.
A painting of the French king Henri III (1551-89) that disappeared from the Louvre during the Second World War turned up at a Paris auction last week. The work was found by a curator at the Château de Blois thanks to an internet search alert, and will soon return to the Louvre.The small portrait depicting Henri III at prayer, estimated at €400-€600, was due to be sold on Friday, 17 October, in an auction of antique paintings, furniture and art objects held by Ader-Nordmann at the Hôtel Drouot. Days before, the assistant curator of the Château de Blois, Pierre-Gilles Girault, who had curated an exhibition in 2010 called “Fêtes et crimes à la Renaissance, la cour d’Henri III” (Renaissance celebrations and crimes, the Court of Henri III), was notified of the sale by a keyword alter on a website specialising in public auctions. Girault knew the work had once belonged to the Louvre, but that any trace of it was lost during the Second World War. Thinking he had found a copy from the same period, he called the Louvre, which after examination, identified it as the missing original...