A streetscape by Camille Pissarro brought more than $32 million earlier this month, more than four times the previous record for a work by the Danish-French impressionist.
Pissarro’s “Boulevard Monmartre, Spring Morning,” a view of Paris painted in 1897, was sold by Sotheby’s in London.
The oil on canvas was part of industrialist Max Silberberg’s collection. Silberberg was forced by the Nazis to sell his artworks in the 1930s and later died in the Holocaust.
Silberberg’s collection also featured works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and van Gogh and was regarded as one of the best pre-war collections of 19th and 20th Century art in Germany, according to the BBC.
“Boulevard Monmartre, Spring Morning” was returned to Silberberg’s family in 2000. It had never before been sold at auction.
The previous record for a Pissarro painting was set in 2009, when “Le Pont Boieldieu Et La Gare D’Orleans Rouen, Soleil” sold for about $7 million. A quartet of the artist’s works entitled “Les Quatre Saisons” brought more than $14 million in 2007.
The new owner of “Boulevard Monmartre, Spring Morning” requested anonymity.
Another Pissarro painting has also been in the news recently.
The ownership of “Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep,” which Pissarro completed in 1886 and currently resides at a University of Oklahoma museum, is in dispute, with a family in France claiming the work stolen from them by the Nazis
The museum is arguing that the painting was purchased in 1956 by a private collector and was eventually bequeathed to the museum in 2000.
However, Leone Meyer has filed a lawsuit in US federal court against the museum, saying that the painting belonged to her father, Raoul Meyer.
Meyer is arguing that Nazis seized the painting from her father’s collection and is asking the courts to order its return.
The university has cited a 1953 ruling in Switzerland that previously denied the Meyer family’s claim to “Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep” partly because of the statute of limitations, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Officials at the museum said that it will return the work if so ordered by the federal judge.