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Van Gogh painting, hidden for a century, sells for $15 million


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It’s Van Gogh-ing … going … gone! 

For a cool $15.4 million, a newly unearthed Vincent Van Gogh masterpiece that was kept hidden by a French family for more than 100 years now has a new home. 

The pricey painting, titled “A Street Scene in Montmartre,” sold Thursday during an auction livestreamed from Paris. 

It trafficked exorbitantly high phone and online bids from art enthusiasts in the French capital, as well as in New York and Hong Kong.

Although Van Gogh’s freshly exhumed tour de force went for a little over $15 million, it initially fetched a staggering $16.47 million hammer offer. 

But auction house Sotheby’s experienced an unspecified glitch in its online bidding system that forced the vendors to redo the sale at the end of the event. The final — albeit lower — bid was accepted. 

Van Gogh's "A Street Scene in Montmartre" sold for over $15 million via online auction Thursday after being kept behind closed doors by a French family for more than 100 years.
Van Gogh’s “A Street Scene in Montmartre” was auctioned for more than $15 million.

“A Street Scene in Montmartre” — originally crafted in 1887 while the renowned Dutch artist visited his brother Theo in Paris — depicts a couple strolling arm in arm by a windmill in front of a ramshackle home in the hill-laden village on the northern outskirts of the city. 

It is part of a series Van Gogh produced of scenes in Montmartre, which is now dominated by the Sacré-Coeur church.

“Paintings from the Montmartre series are rare,” Aurelie Vandevoorde, Sotheby’s head of Impressionist and modern art in Paris, told AFP ahead of the auction this week. 

“It’s very likely to garner a lot of interest from private buyers, the major Van Gogh collectors all around the world and probably from institutions as well.” 

The portrait was concealed in the private collection of an unnamed French family for over a century; however, it’s unclear why the collectors opted to post it on the auctioning block now. 

So far, no information on the buyer is available. 

Back in 2017, Van Gogh’s “Labourer in a Field” from 1889 went for $81 million at a New York sale. 

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