Rare Van Gogh masterpiece sells for $15.4 million

PARIS – A rare painting by Vincent Van Gogh was auctioned by Sotheby’s Paris for € 13.1 million on Thursday.

The sale of “Street Scene in Montmartre” was eagerly awaited as it was one of the few paintings by the Dutch Impressionist that was still in private hands. The auction house had expected a sale between 5 and 8 million euros.

Sotheby’s said the work stayed in the same family collection, out of the public eye, for more than 100 years.

It shows a windmill called Pepper Mill, seen from the street under a clear sky, with a man, a woman and a little girl walking in front of wooden palisades that surround the place.

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It was painted in 1887, a year after Van Gogh moved to Paris and lived in Montmartre while staying with his brother Theo. He left the French capital in 1888 for southern France, where he lived until his death in 1890.

It was one of over 30 works that Sotheby’s sold on Thursday by masters such as Modigliani, Rodin, Camille Claudel, Degas, Klee and Magritte.

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