Art dealer finds unknown Monet pastel hidden behind another

Le Havre, la jetee, circa 1868 Credit: Philip Toscano/PA

A British art dealer has discovered a hitherto unknown work by the great French impressionist Claude Monet, taped behind another one which he bought in Paris.

A pastel named "Le Havre, la jetee" was found when Jonathan Green deframed another picture he had acquired at an auction in Paris for conservation and cleaning.

The picture, which was bought from the estate of Monet's own art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, was unknown to art historians. Whether the family themselves knew about it is unclear - though the two other pieces had been given as a wedding present to Durand-Ruel's granddaughter.

"What's interesting about this picture is that we see Monet painting in the 1860s," Mr Green told ITV News. "He wasn't the great impressionist we know today; he was learning and experimenting."

Pastels like this are quite rare - the highly prolific Monet did fewer than a hundred of them, out of thousands of works in total. However, it's not going to change the course of art history.

"Is it going to be a museum-changing event? No," said Mr Green, who praised Monet's use of light in these early works. "But it is very interesting."

The three pieces will be on sale in London at Masterpiece 2015, for a total of £1.4m.