Hôtel Ritz’s Previously Overlooked French Masterpiece Will Head to Christie’s

Apparently, no art expert has ever stayed in the Coco Chanel suite at Paris’s Hôtel Ritz. If one had, they would have discovered that hanging on the wall, for at least the last 50 years, was a previously unknown work of art by the 17th century French court painter, Charles Le Brun. The hotel discovered the work after closing its doors for a two-year renovation project, which included consultations with art advisors, one of whom noticed that the painting hanging on the wall of the suite was more than your average cheap hotel artwork.

Christie’s authenticated the painting as an early work of Le Brun, who later became the official painter of Louis XIV. The hotel consigned it to the auction house, which will sell it on April 15 for an estimated €300,000-500,000 ($400,000-675,000). “Le Sacrifice de Polyxène” (1647) depicts the killing of the mythological Greek princess Polyxena, the daughter of King Priam of Troy and the would-be lover of Achilles.

Shane Ferro