Baltimore Native Buys Lost Renoir for $7 at a Flea Market, Initially Tries to Destroy It

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This kind of thing doesn’t ever really happen, does it? A Baltimore native, currently living in Virginia, bought a painting by Renoir at a flea market a couple years ago — for seven dollars. And she didn’t even want it. What she really wanted were the plastic cow and the Paul Bunyan doll. But she had to buy the whole box of stuff together, and the painting was included.

She figured buying the 6-inch by 10-inch painting that she DIDN’T LIKE wasn’t a total loss. The frame was nice. As soon as she got around to it, she would CUT OUT THE PAINTING and THROW IT AWAY.

Two years later, she brought the painting to her mother to see if she could help her destroy it. Her mother read Renoir’s name on a little plaque on the frame and figured they should check to see whether it was real. And, of course, it was.

The painting is being auctioned off by the Potomack Company on September 29, where they expect it to fetch between $75,000 and $100,000.

What creeps me out is thinking of all the authentic paintings by masters that one could figure out how to destroy on one’s own — without enlisting the help of one’s mother. Know what I mean?

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