Vincent van Gogh Paris painting from 1887 to make public debut | Van Gogh
A major Parisian work by Vincent van Gogh, part of the private collection of the same French family for more than a century, is slated to be on public display for the first time since it was painted in the spring of 1887.
The Scène de rue à Montmartre is part of a very rare series that shows the famous Moulin de la Galette on a hill overlooking the capital and was painted during the two years that the Dutch artist spent with his brother Theo on Rue Lepic Has.
It was acquired by a French collector in 1920 and has been in the family ever since. It has never been shown publicly, despite being listed in seven catalogs. It will be on display in London, Amsterdam and Paris before being sold by Sotheby’s in March. It is expected to fetch between 5 and 8 million euros.
“Only a few paintings from Van Gogh’s Montmartre period are still in private hands – most are in the collections of renowned museums around the world,” said Aurélie Vandevoorde from the auctioneer’s department for impressionism and modern art in France. “The appearance on the market of a painting of this caliber from such an iconic series is undoubtedly a significant event.”
Claudia Mercier of Mirabaud Mercier auction house, which is linked to the sale, said the work was “compelling”.
The painting shows the Moulin Dubray or Moulin à Poivre, a Montmartre windmill that was destroyed in 1911, along with the entrance to the Moulin de la Galette enclosure, which is covered with decorative lanterns, and a carousel behind the wooden fence.
Montmartre, also known as La Butte, was quickly transforming from a rural village to a lively entertainment district at the time, popular with Parisians for its cafes and a generation of artists, intellectuals and writers for its bohemian atmosphere.
Van Gogh’s two years in Paris from 1886 to February 1888 when he went to Arles are widely regarded as the basis for his later unique style, which exposed him to the influence of Impressionists such as Monet and Pissarro, but also a younger generation of artists including Paul Signac, Émile Bernard and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.