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On February 5, Sotheby’s London’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale fetched 163.5 million pounds, significantly more than its pre-sale estimate of 128.4 million pounds. Out of the 89 lots offered, 10 failed to find buyers.

The highlight of the sale was Camille Pissarro’s ‘Boulevard Montmartre, Matinee de Printemps,’ a street scene that sold for a record 19.9 million pounds, nearly five times the previous record for the Impressionist master at auction. The painting, which is widely considered to be one of the most important Impressionist works to appear at auction in the last decade, was originally owned by the Jewish industrialist, Max Silberberg. During World War II, the Nazis forced Silberberg, who perished in a concentration camp, to get rid of his entire collection of 19th and 20th century artworks. ‘Boulevard Montmartre, Matinee de Printemps’ was restituted to Silberberg’s family in 2000.

The auction also saw the highest price for a Vincent Van Gogh painting offered at auction in London when ‘L’Homme est en mer’ sold for 16.9 million pounds. Other highlights included a print by Pablo Picasso titled ‘Composition au Minotaure,’ which sold for a record 10.4 million pounds and a work on paper by Alberto Giacometti titled ‘Homme Traversant une Place par un Matin de Soleil,’ which achieved a record 8.5 million pounds.

Two weeks of London sales kicked off on February 4 at Christie’s where works by Picasso, Rene Magritte and Juan Gris helped an auction reach 177 million pounds, a record for a sale in London. During the sale, Gris’ still-life ‘Nature Morte a la Nappe a Carreaux’ sold for 34.8 million pounds, a world record for the Spanish artist at auction.

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A long-lost impressionist masterpiece by Camille Pissarro will be sold at Sotheby’s London on February 5, 2014. ‘Boulevard Montmartre, Matinée de Printemps’ (1897) is expected to sell for £7 million to £10 million during the auction house’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale.

The painting belonged to the wealthy industrialist Max Silberberg, who amassed a considerable collection of 19th and 20th century artwork by masters such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Courbet, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, and Vincent Van Gogh. Between 1935 and 1937, Nazis forced Silberberg to sell his entire art collection before deporting him and his wife to Auschwitz, where they both perished. Silberberg’s son, Alfred, and his wife, Gerta, survived the Holocaust and fled to England. Following Alfred’s death in 1984, Gerta worked tirelessly to locate her late father-in-law’s collection. ‘Boulevard Montmartre’ was restituted to her in 2000 after having spent many years in the Israel Museum’s collection in Jerusalem. Gerta later loaned the painting back to the museum where it remained on public view until her death earlier this year.

Profits from the sale of the Pissarro painting will support the charitable causes championed by the late Gerta Silberberg.

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