Six years ago, a British man (choosing to remain anonymous at this time) bought a painting in a thrift shop for less than $200 US, mainly because he liked the frame. He kept the painting in his attic, and recently looked a little closer at his purchase. The painting was curled at the edges, but he carefully unrolled it and discovered a signature. This isn't an experienced buyer, as he had to go and buy a book to make sure, but he thought this was perhaps a painting by Paul Cezanne. The buyer took his painting to an auction house in England for verification, and experts there also believe this is a painting by Cezanne.

The buyer has sent images of the painting to the National Gallery in Britain for verification. It's likely he's waiting on pins and needles at this time. Cezanne paintings are remarkably popular, and therefore quite valuable. Still Life with Curtain, Pitcher and Bowl of Fruit sold for $61.08 million US in 1999, making it one of the most expensive paintings in the world. An older, as yet unknown, painting by Cezanne could be worth much, much more. The painting depicts a landscape, which is typical of early Cezanne paintings, and is executed in accomplished brushstrokes. The signature also matches signatures found in early paintings by Cezanne. All of these are promising signs.

The buyer remains hopeful, but isn't counting his money quite yet. As the buyer told a local news station, "I'm not trying to think about what to do with the money yet. I won't tempt fate." He is wise to proceed with caution. Many early works of art collectors claim to have found are later determined to be frauds.

It's unlikely that a museum can determine the authenticity of the painting through digital photographs. The museum may need to take possession of the painting for at least a short period of time, to take samples of the paint for testing. Curators may also want to test the canvas to determine its age. It is also of slight concern that the painting is rolled along the edges. If this is a true Cezanne painting, it may require conservation work to protect it. The buyer also spoke to news organizations about "cleaning up" the painting, and it's unclear what products he used for that cleaning. Some harsh solvents can remove paint and cause damage.

While you wait for results to determine the authenticity of the painting, as well as reports of the condition of the painting itself, browse our collection of Cezanne paintings. These oil painting reproductions may not be worth millions and millions to collectors, but they also won't cost you millions to purchase. In return for your small investment, you'll receive an oil painting reproduction of a masterpiece, suitable for framing and showcasing in your home. Start shopping today!