Top Five: Long lost artworks, from Da Vinci to Michelangelo

Ludovico Mazzolino's Madonna and Child with St Joseph

A Ludovico Mazzolino renaissance artwork thought to have been lost for good, sold for £107,550 at an auction house in Dorchester, UK in 2009. The 1522 work Madonna and Child with St Joseph far surpassed its £60,000 high-end estimate.

The piece was found in a packing case by a Cheltenham, UK pensioner, having been forgotten for more than 60 years.

It had last been sold in 1812 for £20.

Leonardo Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi

Salvator Mundi
Bought for £45 in 1956...


Salvator Mundi, a depiction of Christ, was attributed to Leonardo da Vinci in 2011 and recently appeared at London's National Gallery.

Experts have declared that the brilliant depiction of a glass sphere in the painting could only have been the work of Da Vinci, not one of his circle.

The work, which sold for £45 in 1956, is now estimated to be worth in the region of £120m.

It last changed hands in 2005, when it was purchased by a US consortium.

Michelangelo's Madonna, St John and Two Mourning Angels

Crucifixion with the Madonna, St John and Two Mourning Angels had been hanging at Campion Hall, a Jesuit student residence at the University of Oxford, since the 1930s, when it was bought at a Sotheby's auction.

Infra-red investigations by art scholar Antonio Forcellino suggest that Michelangelo could well be behind the piece, previously thought to have been painted by Marcello Venusti.

Father Brendan Callaghan, the master of Campion Hall, told the BBC in 2011 that the item was now too valuable to keep in the residence.  

"Simply having it hanging on our wall wasn't a good idea," he explained.

"Its value in the three years I've been master has gone up tenfold, even if it's not by Michelangelo.

The piece has now been relocated to the nearby Ashmolean Museum for safe keeping.

Ford Madox Brown's The Seraph's Watch

The Seraph's Watch
A copy sold for £100,000 in 2006


The Seraph's Watch by British painter Ford Madox Brown was recently exhibited at the UK's Manchester Art Gallery.

Produced in 1847, it was discovered by curator Julian Treuherz in a private collection in 2009.

It had previously last been seen in public in 1896.

The painting's existence was only known about because a copy was made by fellow artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. That work sold for £100,000 at auction in 2006.

Michelangelo's Study of a Mourning Woman

A Michelangelo drawing, Study of a Mourning Woman, sold for £5.9m to art dealer Jean-Luc Baroni in 2001, the same year it was found in an album of old master drawings at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, UK.

It was later sold for an undisclosed sum in 2002, to a US collector.

It is thought that a young Michelangelo produced the work between 1495 and 1505, and that it was purchased in 1747 at a London auction by Henry Howard, before residing at the ancestral home for more than 250 years.

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