A 13th-century painting estimated to be worth around £5m has been discovered in the kitchen of a house in northern France.

The extremely rare artwork, believed to be by the Florence-based artist Cenni di Pepo (known as Cimabue), belonged to a woman who lived in the town of Compiègne, near Paris.

Family members said they had always thought the object was an old religious icon and remembered it hanging above a hot plate used to keep food warm in the kitchen.

The 10-inch panel is believed to be part of a larger original work, another piece of which was discovered 20 years ago at Benacre Hall in Suffolk and is now in London’s National Gallery.

The painting is due to go on sale at the Actéon auction house near Paris on 27 October.

Image courtesy of Actéon and Eric Turquin