Updated: 2:33 PM PDT, March 26, 2021
One of the few paintings by Vincent van Gogh still in private hands, “Street Scene in Montmartre” sold for over $19 million Thursday at auction after going on public display for the first time this week, Sotheby’s said.
The painting of a Paris street spent more than 100 years behind closed doors.
“Street Scene in Montmartre” was painted in the spring of 1887, three years before the Dutch master is believed to have died by suicide. It fetched double the auction house’s top estimate of 8 million euros ($9.4 million) during a sale at Sotheby’s in Paris.
Van Gogh’s painting depicts Parisians walking through a rural and sparse landscape in Montmartre, a historic district that today is one of the city’s most popular destinations.
“The moment we set eyes on 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 with great pleasure that we can now present this to the world, after being treasured by the same French family for a century,” they said in a statement prior to the sale.