Van Gogh painting of a Montmartre windmill to receive its first public viewing

Van Gogh painting of a Montmartre windmill to receive its first public viewing

One of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings will go on public display for the very first time. Scène de rue à Montmartre (Street Scene in Montmartre) was painted in the spring of 1887 and has been part of a private family collection ever since. Most of the paintings from this period of Van Gogh’s life are on display in some of the world’s most prestigious museums, but this one is an exception.

Van Gogh painting to sell for 5 million to 8 million euros

The painting will be exhibited in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, London and Paris and then it will be auctioned by Sotheby’s on March 25. It is likely to sell for somewhere in the region of 5 million to 8 million euros.

This falls in the same month as a record auction for another one of Van Gogh's works: on Monday, March 1, the Van Gogh drawing La Mousmé sold for 8,6 million euros at Christie's auction house. That breaks a record - no Van Gogh drawing had ever sold for that much until now!

Van Gogh in Paris

Van Gogh lived with his brother Theo on rue Lepic in Paris from 1886 to 1888, a time that laid the foundations for his later unique style. After Paris, the Dutch painter moved to Arles in the south of France, where he began to paint in bright, exuberant colours that have since become his trademarks, such as Sunflowers, Bedroom in Arles, Van Gogh's Chair and Starry Night.

Scène de rue à Montmartre depicts some people milling around near a dishevelled wooden fence, with a windmill and some sparse trees in the distance. Montmartre, on the hilltop overlooking Paris, went through a period of rapid expansion in the late 19th century, from a rural village to a bohemian district famous for its cafes, nightclubs and boisterous nightlife. The windmills had fallen out of use, and by the time of the Belle Époque, they had become tourist attractions where people went to mingle and drink.

Van Gogh - from the Netherlands to France

The Montmartre paintings can be said to show the transition between Van Gogh’s Dutch period, where he used a lot of earthy tones, to his brighter paintings from his Arles period, such as Starry Night. In his native country, he painted many Dutch windmills and continued to paint windmills in France. 

Although Vincent Van Gogh did not live long enough to enjoy commercial success, nowadays his paintings are known to fetch some of the highest prices in the world.

Rachel Deloughry


Rachel Deloughry

Rachel is a writer, editor and digital content creator, passionate about the arts, culture and lifestyle.

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