“Street Scene in Montmartre” was painted in the spring of 1887, three years before the Dutch master is believed to have committed suicide.
It shows Parisians walking through a sparse, rural landscape in Montmartre, a historic district that today is one of the most popular destinations in the city.
The painting will be exhibited publicly for the first time, before being sold at auction in Paris. It is expected to reach between € 5 million and € 8 million ($ 6 million and $ 9.7 million) when it enters the market in March.
“The moment we saw this painting for the first time, we were immediately captivated,” said Claudia Mercier and Fabien Mirabaud of Parisian auction house Mirabaud Mercier, who discovered the work.
“It is a great pleasure that we are now able to present this to the world, having been treasured 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 turned ballroom in Montmartre. The district is still popular with tourists and locals for its village feel, but the surrounding streets have been built up and now bear little resemblance to the scene in the painting.
The painting is expected to bring in about $ 10 million. Credit: Sotheby’s / ArtDigital Studio
Sotheby’s said the painting provided a portal to Montmartre in the late 19th century, when obsolete mills became tourist attractions and entertainment venues where Parisians gathered to drink, dance and relax.
“Very few paintings from Van Gogh’s Montmartre period remain in private hands, and most of the series are now in prestigious museum collections around the world,” said Aurélie Vandevoorde and Etienne Hellman, senior directors of the Impressionist Art department. and Modern from Sotheby’s France. who is handling the sale, in a statement.
“The appearance on the market of a work of this caliber and such an iconic series is undoubtedly an important event, and indeed an opportunity, both for the artist’s collectors and for the art market in general.”
The painting will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in Paris on March 25. Before that, it will be publicly exhibited in Amsterdam and Hong Kong before arriving in France.