"You rarely see something of such quality. I immediately thought it was a work of Italian primitivism. But I didn't imagine it was a Cimabue," Philomène Wolf told Le Parisien after spotting the work.
The woman and her family said the painting had been hanging in the same spot for so long, they couldn't remember where it came from. They said they assumed it was an old religious icon, according to news reports.
The Florence painter Cimabue, also known as Cenni di Pepo, is recognized as a pioneering artist from the early Italian Renaissance. There are only 11 known paintings on wood attributed to Cimabue and two of them hang in museums in London and New York.
The newest discovery is heading to the auction block in Senlis, France, on Oct. 27.