This small work by the great master unsurprisingly took first place in this sale followed by many lovers of modern painting, Rodin's bronzes and the Italian Renaissance.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 - 1919), Étude de femme et paysage, c. 1908, oil on canvas signed with his initial, 13.5 x 16.5 cm (5.3 x 6.5 in).
Painted in around 1908, when Auguste Renoir was living permanently in his house in Cagnes-sur-Mer, this Study of a Woman and Landscape, a pretext for exploring color bordering on abstraction, also has an appealing pedigree as it once formed part of Ambroise Vollard's personal collection. Twelve phones and two Internet users propelled the bidding up to €86,400, almost three times its high estimate.
Next up was an early 17th-century Italian bronze: a highly expressive Christ at the Column with a reddish-brown patina attributed to Antonio Susini (1558-1624), and possibly based on a model by Giambologna. It stands on a marble base (total height 20 cm/7.9 in). It came from a château in the Loir valley and fetched €40,200.
Those preferring more avant-garde figures will have been tempted by a modern lost wax bronze proof with a shaded brown patina based on Auguste Rodin's famous piece L'Eternel Printemps (Eternal Spring) (around 66 x 81 x 40 cm/25.9 x 31.8 x 15.7 in). Bearing the signature on the back ("A. Rodin") and the founder's stamp A. Valsuani, numbered 23/25 and clearly marked "reproduction", the object came with a certificate from the Chevreuse-Valsuani foundry dated 1 March 2013. A buyer paid €13,200 for it.