Van Gogh’s ‘street scene in Montmartre’ is auctioned twice

PARIS (Reuters) – A Vincent Van Gogh painting of a Paris street scene sold at auction for 14 million euros ($ 16.47 million) on Thursday, but was put back under the hammer and sold for a smaller amount.

Sotheby’s auction house said there was a glitch with its online bidding system during the painting’s first sale, which was kept in a private collection for more than a century.

The painting “Street scene in Montmartre” received a higher offer of 11.25 million euros the second time. With costs, it was sold for 13.1 million euros.

That exceeded the 5-8 million euros that the auction house had estimated for the work, painted in 1887 while the artist was staying with his brother Theo in the French capital.

The auction was held in Paris with bids online or by phone from Paris, New York and Hong Kong.

The painting, which shows a man and a woman walking arm in arm along a rickety fence with a windmill in the background, comes from the collection of a French family.

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

Van Gogh arrived in Paris in 1886 and left the city in 1888, saying that he had grown tired of its hectic pace of life.

He moved to the south of France, where part of his ear was cut off during an episode of mental illness. The artist subsequently shot himself and died near Paris on July 29, 1890.

Report by Dominique Vidalon; Edited by Richard Lough and Janet Lawrence


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