Van Gogh painting goes public for the first time

Photo: EPA "A street scene in Montmartre"

A painting by Vincent Van Gogh is to be shown to the public for the first time, after spending more than a century in the private collection of a French family, Reuters reported. The work, painted in 1887 will be put on display by Sotheby's auction house in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and Paris, prior to being auctioned off next month.

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. The artwork’s estimated value is between 5 and 8 million euros. 

Titled "A street scene in Montmartre," the painting depicts a man and woman, strolling arm in arm past a ramshackle fence with a windmill in the background. 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.

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