Among the highlights are a newly discovered panel painting of The Penitent Magdalene by Gian Giacomo Caprotti, known as Salaì, who was Leonardo da Vinci’s closest collaborator (estimate €100,000-150,000); an oil on panel attributed to the German Renaissance artist Melchior Feselen depicting Judith carrying the head of Holofernes (estimated at €400,000-600,000) and, from the 19th century, this painting of a fishing boat at sea by Jean-François Millet.
Millet’s 12¾ x 16in (32.5 x 41cm) oil on canvas, which is signed lower left, dates from the time when the artist moved back to his native Normandy for around 16 months from August 1870 during the Siege of Paris.
It is one of a number of seascapes that he produced during this period. The painting has featured in several exhibitions, as the labels on the back of the painting attest, and the path from its original creation through a number of famous collections to the current owners is particularly well documented.
Included in the artist’s posthumous sale at the Hôtel Drouot in May 1875, the painting entered the Duncan collection in London; was then acquired by Victor Desfossés and then purchased at the 1899 sale of his collection by Ernest Cognacq, founder of La Samaritaine department store. Part of his extensive art collection was bequeathed to the city of Paris and is now the Musée Cognacq-Jay.
Millet’s painting of the fishing boat passed to Ernest’s great-nephew Gabriel and was acquired from the posthumous sale of his collection in 1952 by the grandparents of the current owners.
It is estimated at €400,000-600,000 in the Artcurial sale.