Art lovers will soon have the chance to bid for an original oil painting by French impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir. Cranston-based auctioneer Bruneau & Co. will make Renoir's Portrait of Gabrielle leaning on her hand the centerpiece for an auction scheduled tenatively for November.
The company said a local resident cosigned the painting to them after he acquired it during an estate sale in Massachusetts.
Last month, the painting was given an insurance appraisal of $250,000 by Dr. Lori Verderame, Ph.D, the director of Masterpiece Technologies in Trumbauersville, Pa.
Travis Landry, specialist and auctioneer at Bruneau & Company, said there’s one final step to label the piece as a Renoir original.
"Right now, it’s going through further authentication by the Wildenstein Institute for acceptance into its catalog resume. So, that’s the last bit of information we’re waiting for because that’s like the overall stamp of approval that collectors look for today," Landry said.
Landry said the company has sold high-level paintings before, but for French impressionist 19th century masters, this will be the first piece of its caliber.
"Oh, it’s crazy because it’s what you see in museums," he said. "Or when I was going to school it’s what I saw in my slideshow for my art history classes. It’s kind of a surreal experience to be able to handle one in person."
In the spring of 1990, Renoir’s works sold for nearly $78.1 million at a New York auction.
Landry said the bidding for Portrait of Gabrielle leaning on her hand will begin at $100,000, but there is no limit to what the painting could sell for.
He said interesed buyers can bid in house at the Cranston location or online.