Renoir painting unlikely find in US flea market
WASHINGTON, Sept 16 — A box of bric-a-brac bought for several dollars at a Virginia flea market contained an unlikely treasure: a painting by French Impressionist master Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
The canvas, which shows a scene along the Seine River titled “Paysage Bords de Seine”, is to be auctioned later this month by the Potomack Company, an auction house in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC.
It is expected to sell for between US$75,000 (RM226,150) and US$100,000.
The small oil painting, 14 cm by 23 cm, was among the finds bought in a bin by a woman who prefers to remain anonymous, according to Anne Norton Crane, a representative of the auction house.
The art work, which had been tossed in a box of odds-and-ends including a plastic cow and a Paul Bunyan doll, came close to being destroyed.
Not thinking much of the painting, the woman had planned to shred it. But her mother, spotting the name Renoir on the canvas, advised her to have an expert appraise it.
Norton Craner, who described the work as “beautiful, very beautiful”, particularly for its luminosity, said it still carried a label from the Berheim-Jeune arthouse in Paris, a famous purveyor of works by Renoir.
She was able to trace the painting back to an American collector, Herbert May, who bought it in 1926 from the famed gallery.
After leaving France for the United States, collectors lost track of the painting, until it turned up last month among the other items for sale at the flea market. — AFP/Relaxnews