See the Top 10 Art Discoveries of 2016

New research has resulted in sensational finds.

French painting expert Eric Turquin announcing the authentication of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio Judith Beheading Holofernes. Photo courtesy Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images.

Science and technological advances combined with new insights and scholarly research have resulted in some amazing art-related discoveries in 2016.

Whether its new attributions, lucky flea market finds, or a long-lost painting discovered behind a double-stretched canvas, the discoveries of 2016 have been nothing short of sensational. Here, artnet News presents 10 of the most unbelievable and unexpected finds of the year.

Hieronymus Bosch, The Temptation of St. Anthony. Photo: Rik Klein Gotink/Image processing by Robert G. Erdmann for the Bosch Research and Conservation Project.

Hieronymus Bosch, The Temptation of St. Anthony.
Photo: Rik Klein Gotink/Image processing by Robert G. Erdmann for the Bosch Research and Conservation Project.

1. Hidden Hieronymus Bosch painting discovered in Kansas City (February)
With only two dozen completed paintings in existence, works by the 15th and 16th century Dutch painter are amongst the rarest in the world. So the excitement was considerable when an oil painting by Bosch was found in storage at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, where it was forgotten for over 80 years. The priceless painting is one of just five works by the artist that now reside in the US.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio Judith Beheading Holofernes. Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio Judith Beheading Holofernes. Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images.

2. Caravaggio found in French attic (April)
Earlier this year, a second long-lost version of Caravaggio’s iconic Judith Beheading Holofernes was discovered in an attic in France. The painting was later controversially attributed to the legendary Renaissance painter by experts. The first version was painted in Rome and hangs in the city’s National Gallery of Ancient Art at Pallazo Barberini, but the second which was painted in Naples had been missing since the early 17th century.

A cast of Mino da Fiesole's Portrait of a Young Woman at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The original bust is among 59 statues from the Bode Museum damaged during World War II and rediscovered at Moscow's Pushkin Museum. Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

A cast of Mino da Fiesole’s Portrait of a Young Woman at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The original bust is among 59 statues from the Bode Museum damaged during World War II and rediscovered at Moscow’s Pushkin Museum. Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

3. Looted Renaissance sculptures found in Moscow (May)
A cache of nearly 60 Renaissance sculptures taken from Berlin’s Bode Museum in the aftermath of World War II were uncovered in a storage facility of Moscow’s National Pushkin Museum. According to the Bode Museum’s curator of Italian Renaissance art Neville Rowley most of the works can’t be shown because of damage, but he revealed that they will be exhibited after restoration.

Paul Gauguin, Fleurs D'Ete Dans Une Goblet (1885) in a frame. Courtesy Litchfield County Auctions.

Paul Gauguin, Fleurs D’Ete Dans Une Goblet (1885) in a frame. Courtesy Litchfield County Auctions.

4. Long-lost Gauguin still-life found in Connecticut (June)
A long-lost painting by Paul Gauguin was discovered by a Connecticut auction house in the home of a retired Manhattan antiques dealer, who did not know that the work was by the Impressionist master. The work was authenticated by the Paris-based Wildenstein Institute and was identified as Summer Flowers in a Goblet, which is listed in the artist’s catalogue raisonné.

The newly-discovered YInMn blue is now commercially available from the Shepherd Color Company. Courtesy of Oregon State University.

The newly-discovered YInMn blue is now commercially available from the Shepherd Color Company. Courtesy of Oregon State University.

5. The world’s bluest blue (June)
In 2009 chemist Mas Subramanian and his team at Oregon State University accidentally stumbled upon a brilliantly vibrant and durable pigment called YInMn blue whilst conducting experiments linked to electronics. The world’s newest and bluest blue was recently licensed for commercial use and is already being used by some artists.

The engraving by Albrecht Dürer is from 1520. Courtesy of Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

The engraving by Albrecht Dürer is from 1520. Courtesy of Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

6. Albrecht Dürer engraving found at flea market (July)
In July an eagle-eyed collector spotted a 16th century engraving by Albrecht Dürer at a flea market in the town of Sarrebourg in the Alsace region of France. Noticing the stamp of Germany’s Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart on the back the honest buyer dutifully notified the museum and returned the work. It was believed to have been lost for over 70 years, disappearing in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II.

A version of Jacob Jordaens' Mileager and Atalanta, on view at Madrid's Museo del Prado. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

A version of Jacob Jordaens’ Mileager and Atalanta, on view at Madrid’s Museo del Prado. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

7. ‘Copy’ of Flemish masterpiece turns out to be original (September)
Dismissed as an 18th century copy for over 150 years; a 17th century masterpiece Meleager and Atalanta by the Flemish painter Jacob Jordaens languished in storage at Wales’ Swansea Museum until Bendor Grosvenor, a British art historian and presenter of the BBC program Fake or Fortune, ID’d the work in September. Experts at London’s Courtauld Institute performed an analysis of the painting’s frame and confirmed Grosvenor’s theory by dating the creation of the work to between 1619 and 1622 and valued it at $3.8 million.

Curator of Historic Art at Norwich Castle, Giorgia Bottinelli (left) and conservator Alice Tavares da Silva with Magritte’s La Condition Humaine (1935). © Norfolk Museums Service.

Curator of Historic Art at Norwich Castle, Giorgia Bottinelli (left) and
conservator Alice Tavares da Silva with
Magritte’s La Condition Humaine (1935). © Norfolk Museums Service.

8. Conservators discover missing piece of legendary René Magritte canvas (September)
Curators at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery in England found a quarter of the legendary artwork Pose Enchantée (The Enchanted Pose) (1927) underlying the surrealist’s 1935 painting La Condition Humaine (The Human Condition). For unknown reasons the artist cut the canvas into four parts and painted other works on the pieces. Though included in the artist’s catalogue raisonné, it’s whereabouts are listed as unknown.

The Foundations of a building in the ancient city. Courtesy the Egyptian Ministry of Culture

The Foundations of a building in the ancient city. Courtesy the Egyptian Ministry of Culture

9. Archaeologists unearth ‘lost city’ thought to be first ancient Egyptian capital (November)
Thought to be a lost ancient spiral of Egypt dating back to 5,316 BCE the site was rediscovered after 7,000 years. The team of Egyptian archaeologists that made the sensational discovery announced that the excavation of the city will shed light on a little-known part of ancient Egyptian history.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Szene im Café (ca. 1926). Photo: courtesy Städel Museum, Frankfurt.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Szene im Café (ca. 1926). Photo: courtesy Städel Museum, Frankfurt.

10. Conservators find previously unknown Ernst Ludwig Kirchner painting (November)
Conservators at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt discovered a previously unknown painting by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner underneath the canvas of Schlittenfahrt im Schnee (1927-29). The newly found work, Szene im Café, which was painted around 1926, was found stretched on the same frame, but hidden from view.


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