RENOVATION work at the Ritz Paris has led to the discovery of what is believed to be a 17th-century French masterpiece that hung in Coco Chanel's suite for decades without anyone noticing it.
There is no explanation in the archives as to how the large tableau by Charles Le Brun ended up in the hotel, which is undergoing a €200m refurbishment lasting two years.
The man who spotted the painting was Olivier Lefeuvre, a Christie's auction house specialist in French paintings of the period, who came across it in July, a month before the Ritz closed its doors.
"I thought it was a Le Brun straight away," he said. "It was very well preserved. It was really quite moving."
The painting will go on display in New York next week. (© Daily Telegraph, London)