The CBC in Canada has picked up reports that small portrait previously thought to be a copy has been authenticated as largely the work of Raphael:
The portrait, measuring 30 centimetres by 40 centimetres, was long dismissed as a worthless copy of the Renaissance Italian master’s work and abandoned in the vaults of the museum of the Este family in Sassuolo in northern Italy. Its elaborate carved and gilded frame caught the eye of Mario Scalini, acting supervisor of the arts for the northern Italian provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia, in a chance viewing of the work. […]
Scalini had the painting analyzed by art experts. “The results … allow us to assert with reasonable certainty that the work was painted by Raphael,” he said. It’s believed that the portrait was started by Raphael but finished by one of his most prominent pupils, Giulio Romano, after the master’s death in 1520. Florence art laboratory analyst Anna Pelagotti told The Associated Press that infrared testing revealed three layers, including a preparatory sketch that clearly appeared to have been done by Raphael.
It’s now believed that the painting is a first draft of part of a larger painting, Madonna of the Pearl, which hangs in Madrid’s Prado museum. Scalini said the small painting could be worth $40 million or more.