The Carabinieri, the cultural heritage protection unit of the Italian police, announced the recovery of a long-lost painting believed to be by the Renaissance master Titian. The work, titled Portrait of a man with a beret (c. 1512), disappeared in 2004. It was thought to have been taken to Switzerland, but a tip led authorities to a workshop in the Asti area of Piedmont, Italy, where it had been taken for restoration.
The portrait, valued at just over $7 million, shows a man with a reddish beard and a black cap looking straight at the viewer. Police issued a seizure order to recover the work, which was handed over to the Italian state in a ceremony on May 19.
Two Swiss citizens are now under investigation over the painting’s disappearance, according to until Forbes†
The specialized unit of the Italian police that recovered the work has 280 dedicated investigators to protect Italy’s priceless cultural treasures. In March 2019The same unit broke up a cultural trafficking gang operating in the country through a massive… raid which has recovered about 10,000 ancient artifacts from 28 countries.
Born Tiziano Vecellio in Pieve di Cadore, a small town near Venice, Titian was active in the 16th century and became known for his dramatic depictions of social, religious and mythical subjects. His most famous work is perhaps the Venus of Urbino (1538), depicting a reclining female nude looking at the viewer shyly.
Throughout his career, Titian experimented with different styles and found early success with local aristocratic patrons. He was later asked to serve as a court painter by Italian princes and the papacy, as well as the Habsburg dynasty in Austria.
In 2011, Sotheby’s sold Titian’s painting Madonna and Child (c. 1508) for $16.9 million, a record for the artist at auction. Last week, a work of art from 1565 by the old master with the title Penitent Madgdalene sold for $4.9 million at Viennese auctioneers Dorotheum.
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