A painting bought at a flea market in the US for $7, turned out to be a rare artwork by French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, valued at up to $100,000. The rare painting was bought by a woman at a Virginia flea market, as part of a box lot that also included a plastic cow and doll. Later she took the painting to a Virginia auction house, where experts confirmed it was Renoir’s Paysage Bords de Seine (Landscape on the Banks of the Seine), a river scene from about 1879, and believed to be originally bought from a Paris gallery in 1926. The oil painting was done on a linen napkin, allegedly for Renoir’s mistress.
NEWS ViDEO: A woman in Virginia, US, who paid fifty dollars for a box of random things has discovered what is suspected to be a Renoir painting ~ Report by Simon Parker
The lucky lady from Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, wishes to remain anonymous about owning the very valuable Renoir painting, found in the random $50 box she was drawn to for the Paul Bunyan doll and plastic cow. “I’d never seen a Paul Bunyan doll before,” she told The Huffington Post in a phone conversation, identifying herself only as “Renoir Girl.”
She also liked the painting’s frame, and planned to reuse it, so she began removing the art. When she ripped the backing paper off the frame, her mother advised her to verify the painting’s value before throwing it away, due to the plaque with the name “Renoir” on the front. So she took it to the Potomack Company in August 2012, where Anne Norton Craner, a specialist at the Virginia auction house, thought it was an original Renoir. Further research at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and confirmation by a Renoir expert satisfied Anne Norton Craner it was an original Renoir.
It’s believed the painting arrived in the U.S. via Herbert May, a Renoir collector whose wife Sadie was last known owner of “Paysage Bords de Seine,” which he purchased from the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery in Paris. This painting has not been seen since 1926. It is unknown at this stage how the Renoir painting wound up in a Virginiaflea market.
The owner of The Potomack Company, Elizabeth Haynie Wainstein, announced that the “Paysage Bords de Seine” painting by Renoir will be auctioned for sale at the gallery on Saturday the 29th of September 2012. The auction gallery estimates the painting will sell for $75,000 to $100,000. For more details visit www.PotomackCompany.com ~ antiques and fine arts auction gallery.
The Paysage Bords de Seine painting by Renoir, has been removed from auction regarding concerns it was stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art. The small painting was expected to go on sale on the 29th September at the Potomack Company auction house, until newly discovered records revealed it was listed as stolen in 1951 from the Baltimore Museum of Art, where it was loaned in 1937.
The Renoir painting was loaned to the Baltimore Museum of Art by collector Saidie May, one of their leading benefactors. Her family bought the painting from the Bernheim-Jeune gallery in Paris in 1926.The Washington Post found records in the museum’s library that showed Sandie May had lent paintings and other works to the museum in 1937. The Baltimore Museum of Art checked its files and found a loan record showing the Renoir had been stolen on the 17th November in 1951. It is unknown what happened to the Paysage Bords de Seine painting after the theft.
PiERRE-AUGUSTE RENOiR (1841 ~ 1919)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist leading in the development of Impressionist painting. Renoir was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France, to a working-class family. When he was a boy, he worked in a porcelain factory, where his drawing skills led to painting designs on fine china. Before he enrolled in art school, he also painted hangings for overseas missionaries and decorations on fans. He often visited the Louvre to study the Frenchmaster painters during his early years.
In 1862, when Renoir was 21, he began studying art under Charles Gleyre in Paris, where he met Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille, and Claude Monet. During this time in the 1860s, he often did not have enough money to buy paint. He first started exhibiting his paintings at the Paris Salon in 1864, but was not recognized for another ten years, partially due to the Franco-Prussian War.
During the Paris Commune in 1871, when Renoir was painting on the banks of the Seine River, some Communards thought he was a spy, and were about to throw him into the river when a leader of theCommune, Raoul Rigault, recognized Renoir as the man who had protected him once. In 1874, Renoir’s 10 year friendship with Jules Le Cœur ended, resulting in a loss of valuable support, and loss of his favorite painting location on the Le Cœur family property in Fontainebleau, which resulted in a distinct change of subjects.
In 1874, at the age of 33, Renoir experienced his initial acclaim, when 6 of his paintings were hung in the first Impressionist exhibition. In 1881, he traveled to Algeria and Madrid. In 1982 he went to Italy, to paint a portrait of composer Richard Wagner at his home in Sicily. In 1883, Renoir created 15 paintings in approximately 1 month, during summer in Guernsey.
In 1890, at the age of 49, Renoir married Aline Victorine Charigot, who served as a model for Le Déjeuner des canotiers ~ Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881), with whom he had already had a child, Pierre, in 1885. The Renoirs had 3 sons, one of whom, Jean, was a filmmaker, and the other, Pierre, was a stage and film actor.
In 1892, at the age of 51, Renoir developed rheumatoid arthritis, and finally had to move to the warmer climate of “Les Collettes,” a farm at Cagnes-sur-Mer, near the Mediterranean coast in 1907. Renoir painted during the last 20 years of his life, even when arthritis severely limited his movement, and he was wheelchair-bound. He also had to use a moving canvas (picture roll) to paint large works with his limited joint mobility.
In 1914, Renoir at the age of 73, painted a portrait of Austrian actress Tilla Durieux, with playful flecks of vibrant color on her shawl to offset the classical pose of the actress, which highlighted his skill just 5 years before his death on the 3rd of December in 1919, aged 78, in the village of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Renoir managed to visit the Louvre to see his paintings hanging with those of the old masters, during his last year alive.