It had been catalogued as by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-82) on the basis of its stylistic similarities to the work of the Spanish artist, who painted several versions of this subject, and dated to c.1660-65.
The 5ft 5in x 3ft 8in (1.6 x 1.8m) painting, which had been in the same French collection since 1764, sold for €500,000 (£431,035) against a €300,000-400,000 guide.
Violin by del Gesu
Earlier in the month, on June 3 in Neuilly, the auction house held a sale of violins and bows where the highlight was a Cremonese violin by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri known as del Gesu, the best known maker of the Guarneri dynasty.
Owned by the violinist Régis Pasquier, the instrument dates from 1736, the middle period of del Gesu’s oeuvre, measures just under 14in (35.5cm) to the back and is complete in all its main parts, with a one-piece flamed maple back and spruce soundboard.
It sold for €2.65m (£2.28m) against an estimate of €4m-4.5m.