April 16, 2021

A Van Gogh painting that has not been seen in public in a century goes up for auction

Paris, Feb 24 (EFE) .- A painting by Vincent Van Gogh that has not been seen in public for a century will be auctioned in March with an estimated sale price of between 5 and 8 million euros (between just over 6 and 9, 7 million dollars), announced this Wednesday the houses Sotheby’s and Mirabaud Mercier.

The work “Street Scene in Montmartre (Alley of the Two Brothers and the Pepper Mill)” was painted in the spring of 1887 during Van Gogh’s period in Paris (1886-1888) and shows a couple walking along the Montmartre hill.

This painting, which has been in a private French collection for a century and has not been seen in public since, will be the star of the Impressionist art auction that both houses will hold in Paris on March 25.

On the journey of the painting since Van Gogh painted it in 1887, the curator of the sale, Fabien Mirabaud, said at a press conference that they believe that “Théo, his brother, kept it, that he went through some unknown intermediaries and that before 1920 was already in the hands of the family that has owned it ever since. ”

The two auction houses avoided giving details about the identity of the family, but explained that one of the conditions that was put for the auction was that it be held in Paris, where they would like it to stay, “although they have assumed that it is possible that finish abroad “, clarified Fabien Mirabaud, of the firm that bears his name.

On the scene of the painting, the director of Impressionist Art at Sothebys, Aurélie Vandevoorde, ´ indicated that at that time the Parisian hill of Montmartre had two parts: “a more urbanized, with the well-known cabarets, and a more rural, with orchards, mills, sheds … That’s the part that Van Gogh portrayed. ”

The Dutch painter “preferred to show a bucolic scene rather than a portrait of the dance halls or cabarets of the neighborhood,” added Mirabaud.

The work will be exhibited at Sotheby’s in Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Paris before being auctioned in the French capital on March 25.

The experts managing this bid are confident that the estimated starting price will be reached, which is lower entry, for example, than the one achieved in 2020 by a country landscape by the same painter sold in Holland for 15 million euros (more than 18 million of dollars).

“It is a revolutionary painting because it incorporates light colors and vivid pigments into Van Gogh’s work. It laid the foundation for his inimitable style,” said Etienne Hellman, specialist in the department of Modern Art and Impressionism at Sotheby’s.

The expert Aurélie Vandevoorde also pointed out that “in this painting the artist recovers the tradition of the Dutch landscape” that he uses to paint Montmartre, an artists’ neighborhood.

The statement notes that this painting is part of a “very rare series” of Van Gogh paintings featuring the famous Galette Mill in Montmartre.

The Dutch Van Gogh (1853-1890) lived in Paris between 1886 and 1888, a period in which he coincided with some of the leading artists of the time, such as Gauguin, Pissarro or Toulouse-Lautrec, contacts that marked a strong evolution in his painting, with which he excelled in post-impressionism and expressionism.


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