Moise sauvé des eaux by Edouard Manet – €490,000 (£426,085) at Tajan.

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Moise sauvé des eaux (Moses saved from the water), a 20in x 2ft (51 x 61cm) oil on canvas, sold for a hammer price of €490,000 (£426,085) on the evening of November 23.

It probably dates from c.1856-60 when the artist had just travelled around Europe looking at the work of Old Masters such as Velasquez and Frans Hals that inspired him.

Manet's friend, the journalist Antonin Proust, records that on his return to Paris Manet embarked on a large painting on the subject of Moise sauvé des eaux that was never completed and it is thought that the canvas at Tajan is probably a preparatory sketch for this larger work.

Horse sense

It was followed in price at €460,000 (£400,000) by one of Giorgio de Chirico’s (1888-1978) inter-war works featuring the artist’s interpretation of classical motifs: Chevaux sur la plage, a 3ft x 2ft 5in (92.5 x 73.5cm) signed oil on canvas from 1928-30.