The Charles Le Brun oil on canvas discovered hanging in the Paris Hôtel Ritz proved to be the high point of Christie’s latest sale of Old Master and 19th century paintings in Paris.
The newly identified 5ft 10in x 4ft 4in (1.8 x 1.3m) oil on canvas by the 17th French master, depicting the Sacrifice of Polyxena, which was signed with initials and dated 1647, fetched €1.2m (£1.07m) plus premium.
The price establishes a new auction high for the artist, well ahead of the previous high, set back in 1998 of Fr3.6m (then £385,026) at Beaussant & Lefèvre in Paris for a biblical subject: Suzanne before the Judges vindicated by the evidence of the young Daniel.
The buyer of the painting at the auction on April 15 was announced as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, who will display the work in their gallery dedicated to French 17th century Old Masters.
The buyer's premium was 25/20/12%.