Pissarro's Boulevard Montmartre to break artist's world record?

Pissarro's Boulevard Montmartre, matinee de printemps, which a former owner was forced to sell by the Nazis, is coming to Sotheby's. 

Described by the auction house as the "greatest work by Camille Pissarro ever to appear at auction", the 1897 painting has a £10m ($16.5m) high estimate ahead of its sale on February 5 in London.

It was formerly in the art collection of Germany-based Jewish industrialist Max Silberberg, who the Nazis forced to sell his entire collection of impressionist, realist and post-impressionist paintings between 1935 and 1937. He later died in the holocaust at Auschwitz.

The work was restituted to Max's daughter-in-law, Gerta, in 2000, following her years of investigative work after German archives were released in 1990.

The intervening period had seen it change hands several times, before arriving at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, in 1997. The painting has remained there since; Gerta loaned it back to the museum after she took ownership of the work in 2000.

Following Gerta's death earlier this year, it will now be sold.

The chairman of Sotheby's impressionist and modern art department in Europe, Helena Newman, commented: "It is an honour to be entrusted with offering the greatest work by Camille Pissarro ever to appear at auction - a work that encompasses such a richly painted canvas and a supremely elegant composition.

"With the enduring demand for impressionist masterpieces - particularly works of such rarity as this work by Pissarro - we anticipate interest from around the globe."

Pieces by Pissarro (1830-1903) are indeed in much demand. His Le Jardin de Maubuisson auctioned for $1.8m at Bonhams last month. The artist's auction record stands at $14.6m, set by a collection of four paintings in 2008. Such is the interest surrounding the present piece, we could well be looking at a new record come February.

Ensure you don't miss the results of the sale - sign up to our free newsletter.

Last month, 1,500 modernist works stolen by the Nazis, valued at a combined $1.3bn, were discovered in Germany.

View our collection of artists' autographs for sale.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock