The original Cardsharps is housed in Kimbell Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
The former owner of a disputed Caravaggio has lost his battle for compensation from an auction house.
Lancelot William Thwaytes sold The Cardsharps at Sotheby’s in 2006 for £46,000 after being told it was by a follower of the Old Master.
The new owner subsequently insured the painting for millions – after her partner, an art expert, claimed it was in fact an original Caravaggio.
Sotheby’s maintains the painting is not by the artist.
Mr Thwaytes attempted to sue Sotheby’s of London, for giving him negligent advice.
But the judge at London’s High Court ruled the auction house had reasonably come to the view that the quality of the painting “was not sufficiently high to indicate that it might be by Caravaggio”.
Sotheby’s defended its claim by saying that a number of leading experts have attested to it not being by the artist.
Mr Thwaytes inherited the painting in the 1960s from a cousin, and when he came to sell it Sotheby’s catalogued it as by a “follower” of Caravaggio.
The painting was bought at auction by Mrs Orietta Adam, the partner of art collector Sir Denis Mahon.
A year later, Sir Denis declared, at his 97th birthday party, that the painting was by Caravaggio and dated back to 1595.
The painting was loaned to the Museum of the Order of St John at Clerkenwell in London following the death of Sir Denis in 2011, and is insured for £10m.
The original artwork was painted in 1594 and is on show in a museum in Texas. It was a key work in establishing Caravaggio’s reputation, was widely copied.
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Source:: BBC Entertainment