Dutch golden age painting worth millions discovered in Australia
The 400-year-old painting is believed to be a work of art done by Dutch Willem Claesz Heda and his son.
A 400-year-old "one in a million" Dutch artwork valued at up to $5 million has been discovered on a property in New South Wales' Blue Mountains, Australia.
Titled Still Life, the work was recently discovered at the National Trust of Australia-managed Woodford Academy during a restoration project.
The 17th-century oil painting, presumed to be the work of Gerrit Willemsz Heda, displays a sumptuous table setting typical of the Dutch Golden Age.
The Dutch Golden Age refers to the period in history from around 1588 to 1672 when Dutch trade, science, and art, as well as the Dutch military, dominated Europe.
Some experts believe it is a collaboration with his famous father, Dutch master Willem Claesz Heda, whose works are generally worth millions of dollars.
According to Collections manager, Rebecca Pinchin on Sunday, “To find an authentic 17th-century painting in my storeroom at the National Trust was beyond exciting, it left me breathless," adding that "This is a remarkable story of discovery, which has taken us on a journey across a number of years, piecing together and validating the work through expert advice and technology.”
Pinchin expressed that finding the work of art felt like "a one in a million chance."
According to the National Trust, Alfred Fairfax, the nephew of James Fairfax, the founder of the Sydney Morning Herald, may have brought the picture to Woodford.
Alfred Fairfax, a wealthy merchant, purchased the building in 1868.
Art collecting was a common pastime for the rich at the period, and Dutch paintings by "old masters" were popular.
The revelation comes as Australia and the Netherlands celebrate 80 years of full diplomatic relations, international law, and trade-based bilateral partnerships.
The painting will be placed at Woodford Academy as part of the 2022 Australian Heritage festival on 14 May.