Van Gogh painting to be shown in public for first time

Published February 25, 2021
SOTHEBY’S employees pose with the 1887 painting of a Paris street scene by Vincent Van Gogh.—Reuters
SOTHEBY’S employees pose with the 1887 painting of a Paris street scene by Vincent Van Gogh.—Reuters

PARIS: A painting of a Paris street scene by Vincent Van Gogh is to be shown to the public for the first time, after spending more than a century behind closed doors in the private collection of a French family.

The work, painted by Van Gogh in 1887 while he was lodging with his brother Theo in the French capital, will be put on display by Sotheby’s auction house in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and Paris, prior to being auctioned off next month.

The auction house put an estimated value on the artwork of between five million euros ($6.08 million) and 8 million euros.

Titled “A street scene in Montmartre,” the painting depicts a man and woman, strolling arm in arm past a ramshackle fence with a windmill in the background.

The painting is part of a series that Van Gogh produced of scenes in Montmartre, a hilly district of Paris now dominated by the Sacre Coeur church.

When the artist was there, the church was under construction and the area was a patchwork of fields, houses and windmills on the edge of the city that was starting to attract a bohemian artist set with its cheap rents.

The auction house said the painting had been seen in catalogues, but has never itself been on public display. It did not identify the current owner.

Sotheby’s said in a statement that very few paintings from Van Gogh’s Montmartre period remain in private hands.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2021

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