For the last two years, Goodwill employee Maria Rivera-Gonzalez has sorted through thousands of donations. But when she came across a painting recently, she knew it was something special.
She says it looked like another painting she had seen before in a museum.
Rivera had stumbled upon an original Giovanni Bastista Torriglia. Goodwill put the painting online where it drew in thousands of dollars in bids.
"Ah, $4,500. So we are going up," she said of the current bid on her discovery.
Brendan Hurley, with Goodwill of Greater Washington, added, "...we had it appraised and realized it was an authentic painting worth between $12,000 and $18,000."
The piece of art will soon go to the highest bidder. The auction ends Jan. 16, and all of the proceeds go back to Goodwill.
"Some people shop here because they want to, some people shop here because they need to, some people shop here because they're looking for that diamond in the rough. This is a real diamond in the rough," Hurley said.
Rivera said she hopes it will sell for even more than the appraisal price.
"We need that money for our programs," she added.
And it's not the first time a rare painting has popped up unexpectedly.
Last fall, a Renoir painting surfaced at a Shenandoah Valley flea market.