Le Jardin de Maubuisson, l’Hermitage, Pontoise, a 15 x 18in (38 x 45.5cm) unsigned oil on canvas was brought into the auction house with its authorship unknown.
Nicolas Nouvelet, a specialist at the firm’s Neuilly office, felt instinctively that it was the work of a very talented artist and, after 18 months of research that included technical and scientific analysis and detailed comparison with Pissarro’s other works, auctioneers David Nordmann and Xavier Dominique fully attributed the picture to the artist and dated it to c.1878-80.
At the auction on November 22 it was estimated at €100,000-120,000 but drew competition that carried above this level before it was knocked down at €280,000 (£241,340) to an overseas collector.
The price with buyer’s premium added was €358,400 (£308,965).
The scene depicts the area known as the Hermitage, a rural quarter of the town of Pontoise near Paris where Pissarro lived. He painted numerous views of this location and another similar titled Jardin potager à L’Hermitage, Pontoise is in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
Although the relatively small size of the work may have limited the value of the painting commercially for a painting by one of the most recognised of all the Impressionists, the picture has now been added to the Pissarro’s official oeuvre and will feature in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné.
Ahead of the sale the auction house released the promotional video below.
£1 = €1.16