'Portrait of a Gentleman' 
Photo: Supplied
'Portrait of a Gentleman' Photo: Supplied
Peter Paul Rubens
Photo: Facebook
Peter Paul Rubens Photo: Facebook
DURBAN - A painting with an estimated worth of R8m has been discovered in South Africa

The painting is said to be more than 400 years old.

The painting, called 'Portrait of a Gentleman', is likely to have been painted by European artist Old Master Sir Peter Paul Rubens and is currently hanging in Johannesburg at the Killarney Country Club.

Auctioneers Stephen Welz & Co. have roughly estimated the value of the painting to be worth between R5 million and R8 million.

In September last year a family, who was interested in the possible prices of a few works, had asked to meet with Luke Crossley, a fine art expert from Stephen Welz & Co.

The family explained that there was a letter indicating that a painting, which they would refer to as the "funny old man", could possibly be a Rubens.

At first, Crossley had thought that the painting was a fake sold to them by people who deal in fake Old Masters, however, he changed his mind when he heard that they have owned the piece since the 1930's.

Crossley then traced the painting from 1740 to 1925 when it was bought by a Jewish paediatrician. The doctor then moved to South Africa in 1932 with two paintings, one he sold to settle himself into the country and the other was the Rubens.

Unlike other South African artists whose work can fetch into millions of rands, Crossley said there is no real sense of value for an Old Master painting.

Paintings by Rubens

In 2016, a Rubens painting named 'Lot and His Daughters' became the most expensive Old Master painting to be sold at Christies. The painting was sold for around $58 million.

In 2002, a Rubens painting was discovered in the hallway of a monastery in Austria. The painting was then sold at a Sotheby's auction in London for R76,7 million. This painting was titled 'The Massacre of the Innocents'.

Image may contain: 1 person
'The Massacre of the Innocents' Photo: Facebook

A painting titled 'A Commander being armed for Battle' by Rubens, fetching $13,68 million at an auction, was put up by the family of the late Princess Diana. The artwork has been dated between 1613 to 1614.

Image may contain: 3 people, beard
'A Commander being armed for Battle' Photo: Facebook