A long-lost trove of Impressionist and Modern art not seen since World War II will be offered at auction in London and Paris, Sotheby's
The 140 works including paintings, prints and drawings belonged to Parisian art dealer Ambroise Vollard, who played an important role promoting artists including Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse.
The collection was found in 1979 in a Paris bank vault. It had been neglected for decades because Erich Slomovic, an acquaintance of Vollard who deposited the art in the bank in 1939, was killed by the Nazis in 1942.
The key work is a 1905 painting by French artist Andre Derain valued at up to euro15 million ($18 million). Derain co-founded the short-lived Fauve art movement with Matisse in the early 20th century.
"The condition of this painting is absolutely pristine," said Thomas Bompard, a modern art specialist at Sotheby's Paris. "For a collector of today, it is one of the best paintings of one of the greatest names of this revolutionary movement."
Other highlights included a portrait of the writer Emile Zola by Cezanne, three rare monotypes by Degas and a print by Renoir.
Derain's painting will be sold in London on June 22, when a Manet self-portrait estimated at up to 30 million pounds ($43.6 million) also will be offered. The rest of the Vollard collection will be sold in Paris on June 29.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.