Unseen Vincent van Gogh painting of Paris goes on public display for the first time – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather

(CNN) – A painting by Vincent van Gogh of Paris, which after more than a century had been in the private collection of a French family, has now been virtually never seen by the public.

“Street scene in Montmartre” was painted in the spring of 1887, three years before the Dutch master probably died by suicide.

It shows Parisians strolling through a rural and barren landscape in Montmartre, a historic district that is now one of the city’s most popular travel destinations.

The painting is slated to be on public display for the first time before being auctioned off in Paris. It’s expected to rake in between $ 5 million and $ 8 million ($ 6 million and $ 9.7 million) when it goes on sale in March.

“The moment we saw this painting for the first time, we were immediately fascinated,” said Claudia Mercier and Fabien Mirabaud of the Paris auction house Mirabaud Mercier, who discovered the work.

“It is with great pleasure that we can bring this to the world now, having been cherished by the same French family for a century,” they said in a statement.

The painting is part of a series of works depicting the famous Moulin de la Galette, a windmill that has been converted into a dance hall in Montmartre. The neighborhood is still popular with tourists and locals for its village-like atmosphere, but the surrounding streets have been expanded and now bear little resemblance to the scene in the painting.

Sotheby’s said the painting offered a portal to Montmartre in the late 19th century, when the antiquated mills became tourist attractions and leisure spots where Parisians met to drink, dance and relax.

“Only a few paintings from Van Gogh’s Montmartre period are still in private hands. Most of the series are now in prestigious museum collections around the world,” said Aurélie Vandevoorde and Etienne Hellman, senior directors of the Impressionism and Modern Art Department at Sotheby’s France. who handled the sale, in a statement.

“The appearance on the market of a work of this caliber and such a cult series is undoubtedly an important event and indeed an opportunity for collectors of the artist and the art market in a broader sense.”

The painting will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in Paris on March 25th. Before that, it will be on public display in Amsterdam and Hong Kong before going to France.

Van Gogh has been serially undervalued throughout his career. He died in 1890, allegedly after shooting himself. The rusty pistol he allegedly used in the shooting was later discovered and sold in 2019.

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