Henri III painting, missing since WWII, found in Paris auction

A 16th century painting of Henry III has been rediscovered, having been missing from the Louvre since the second world war.

Henri III painting
The painting will go on display at the Chateau de Blois, to where Henri III escaped during the war of the three Henrys



The painting disappeared during the war, but was discovered by an expert, Pierre-Gilles Girault, after it came up for sale in a Paris auction organised by Ader-Nordmann at the Hotel Drouot. Valued at $510-766, it was believed to be a copy from the same period.

However, the Louvre was contacted, and the oil on paper piece - which shows the French king at prayer in front of the cross - was confirmed as the missing original. It was subsequently removed from sale and will be returned to the Louvre's collection.

The work is expected to go on display at the Chateau de Blois in the future, in recognition of the expert who identified it, who is curator at the royal palace.

It was here in the Loire Valley that Henri III (1551-1589) escaped to during the war of the three Henrys, before been assassinated by Catholic fanatic Jacques Clement.

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