A sale of Pierre Bonnard’s possessions in France had an unexpected bounce:
A self-portrait by Bonnard almost broke the million-euro mark, selling for 960,000 euros to an American art lover and dwarfing its pre-sale estimate of 250,000 euros.
The painting, dated 1889 when Bonnard was 22, was the first painting of a long series of self-portraits by the artist.
“This painting was done in 1889 at the beginning of Nabisme [the late 19th-century movement with which Bonnard was associated], he had just met Serusier and Gauguin,” said French auctioneer Jean-Pierre Osenat.
Also in the collection, which belonged to Bonnard’s nephew Antoine Terrasse, was the 1900 La Promenade.
With a pre-sale estimated price of 250,000-300,000 euros, La Promenade hit a record on Sunday and was sold for 970,000 euros to a New York collector.
“Most pieces have been bought by American and British art lovers,” Osenat said.