Restorers working at Fribourg’s St Nicholas cathedral in western Switzerland have discovered a wall painting dating from 1300 to 1350 behind an altar.
Described by experts as being of exceptionally high quality, the images represent, among other figures, Abraham gathering the souls of the chosen people in his cloak.
The painting was discovered during the dismantling of the back of the nativity altar in a side chapel, cantonal officials said.
Other figures featured in the work are St Christopher carrying the child Jesus on his shoulders and a bishop – most likely St Nicholas – offering gold to three girls, a scene which matches the legend of the saint providing dowries for a poor family.
The cathedral was constructed between 1283 and 1490 and the current restoration project started in 2003.
The mural will be open to public viewing until April 7, after which it will be covered up again by the altar painting.
swissinfo.ch and agencies