Nature morte au vase de fleurs et ananas by Anne Vallayer-Coster, estimated at €600,000-1m at Christie's.

Image copyright: Christie’s Images Limited 2023

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She was even allowed to enter the very male-dominated Paris art academy, the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture.

Her Nature morte au vase de fleurs et ananas, painted in 1783 and much admired at the Salon of that year, was considered a crowning achievement by Vallayer-Coster herself as well as her peers, a reason she never parted from this work. The exceptionally well-preserved painting, close to its original state, measuring 3ft 6¾in x 2ft 11in (1.08m x 89.5cm), is making its first market appearance in almost 200 years. It comes up for sale as part of Christie’s June 15 auction of Old Master paintings and sculpture, guided at €600,000-1m.

Another rediscovery to feature in the auction is a St Jerome by the Spanish master Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652). The 2ft 10in x 2ft 6in (85.5 x 76.5 cm) well-preserved painting from 1648, which demonstrates de Ribera’s widely-acknowledged mastery of chiaroscuro, is estimated at €500,000-800,000.