A major Paris work by Vincent van Gogh that has been part of the same French family’s private collection for more than a century is to go on public display for the first time since it was painted in the spring of 1887.
A Street Scene In Montmartre has been owned by a French family for most of the time since it was painted in 1887.
The work was painted 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.
Sotheby's estimates it could fetch up to 8 million euros (Rs 70.65 crore) when it is sold at auction next month.
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. “The appearance on the market of a work of this calibre, and from such an iconic series, is undoubtedly a major event,” the statement said.
Van Gogh arrived in Paris in 1886. He left the city in 1888, saying he had tired of the hectic pace of Paris life.
He moved to the south of France, where he cut off part of his ear during an episode of mental illness. The artist later shot himself and died near Paris on July 29, 1890.