Woman purchases Renoir for a handful of dollars
A woman has secured herself a genuine Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting when she purchased a box full of miscellaneous goods for a handful of dollars at a flea market in the US.
The painting, which is entitled Paysage Bords de Seine and depicts a colourful scene along the famous French river, is now expected to sell anywhere between $75,000 (£46,797) and $100,000 (£62,396) at auction.
At first, the buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, thought nothing of the painting, pleased with its aesthetic quality.
“I was more interested in the frame than the landscape and started taking it apart,” she went on to say.
“I tore the brown paper off the back and threw it in the trash. When I asked my mom for help, she told me to get it looked at first before I threw it away. Low and behold, she was right. It does pay to listen to your mother.”
She duly took the painting to an auction house in Virginia to have it examined. Experts at the auctioneers The Potomack Company judged it to be a genuine painting by one of the leaders of the Impressionism movement, and a valuable one at that too.
“When I removed the painting from the plastic bag it was stored in, I saw that its radiant plein air quality – the rapid brush strokes, the vibrant purple and pink colours, the Seine as subject matter and the luminous light – reminded me immediately of Renoir’s 1879 Landscape of Wargemont,” said Anne Norton Craner, The Potomack Company’s fine art specialist.
As added security, a second opinion was courted from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, which gave the work of art its seal of approval.
Further research by the company suggests that the painting was last purchased in 1926 from the Gallerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris by Herbert L. May, a prominent dealer in Renoir’s works.
Renoir is renowned for his development of so-called broken brushstrokes, amplified by splashes of vivid and complementary colours.
Some of his most famous paintings include The Theatre Box (1874), Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette (1876) and The Umbrellas (1881).
Cadogan Tate specialises in the transportation and storage of fine art, delivered through expert art logistics.