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Chopin portrait purchased at flea market is from Nineteenth century


News of the art work’s existence broke this week as Warsaw hosted the 18th Frederic Chopin Piano Competition.

A peeling portrait of Frederic Chopin bought at a flea market in Poland hung modestly in a personal home for nearly three a long time, earlier than an skilled dated the portray to the Nineteenth century, when the Polish piano composer lived.

Now restored and in a gilded body, the small portray resides in a financial institution vault someplace in japanese Poland whereas its house owners negotiate their subsequent steps, together with a public exhibit.

News of the art work’s existence broke this week as Warsaw hosted the 18th Frederic Chopin Piano Competition, a world occasion identified for launching the careers of world-class pianists. The competitors runs by way of October 23.

Nicolaus Copernicus University professor Dariusz Markowski, the artwork skilled who examined and restored the portrait final 12 months, says it has important historic and emotional worth, however he shunned estimating what it’d promote for.

The portray measures 29.5 centimeters by 23.3 centimeters (11.5 inches by 9 inches.) Using superior strategies, Mr. Markowski timed its creation to the mid-Nineteenth century primarily based on the supplies and pigments used, and the extent of the ageing and harm.

But it’s not now attainable to pinpoint the precise 12 months of its provenance, and it will likely be troublesome to determine who painted it as a result of solely the artist’s first title, Alfred, is preserved, he stated.

“It is evidently Chopin, but I cannot say whether he posed for this portrait or whether it was painted from another picture,” stated Mr. Markowski, principal of the Torun college’s Conservation and Restoration of Modern Art Department.

“We know nothing of its history or who it was painted for,” he told The Associated Press. “It was in a very bad state, and I’m really happy that artwork like this can be saved.”

Chopin was born in 1810 in a manor house in Zelazowa Wola, a village near Warsaw, to a Polish mother and a French father. He left Poland at 19 to broaden his music education in Vienna and then in Paris, where he settled, composing, giving concerts and teaching piano.

He died in Paris on Oct. 17, 1849 and is buried at the Pere Lachaise cemetery, but his heart is kept at the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw, where observances mark the anniversaries of his birth and death.

An art connoisseur spotted the portrait that Mr. Markowski calls “a real curiosity” at a flea market close to Lublin within the early Nineteen Nineties. Decades later, a monetary scenario prompted the household to hunt knowledgeable appraisal, which led them to the college skilled.

A member of the household says it is “extraordinary” that the portray survived about 170 years of historic turmoil and ended up in a flea market. He says the household’s current consideration to the portrait made him examine Chopin’s life and music.

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