This resource is based on a 2019 story of a 13th-century painting that fetched £20 million at auction. It was found in the home of an elderly woman living in Compiègne, France, who was preparing to move. She called an expert in to see if there was anything of value in the house, else it was all to be thrown away.
As it so happened, this small painting – measuring 20 x 26cm – is called The Mocking of Christ and was painted by Italian artist Cimabue around 1280. It is one of the panels of a polyptych, and other panels are on display in galleries in New York and London.
The woman has no idea where the painting came from, but either way it still made £20m at auction, making it the most expensive medieval painting ever.
This PDF resource includes this article, as well as accompanying activity ideas:
- Debate whether rich collectors should be allowed to keep artistic masterpieces locked away in private homes where the general public can’t see them
- Write a funny story about something you’ve painted being found years later and sold for millions
- Have you been to a gallery or museum? Write a descriptive piece about it and the things you saw
- Research the five most expensive paintings ever sold, listing the title, artist and price, and writing a brief description of each
Find the entire series of Topical Tuesday resources to download here.
What is The Week Junior?
The Week Junior magazine looks at current affairs and helps children make sense of the world, provides context and clarity to complex issues, improves general knowledge and encourages discussion and debate.
To find out more about The Week Junior and to download its free resources, please go to schools.theweekjunior.co.uk.