As Open Culture explains, while many private collectors loan their van Goghs to art institutions that make them available for public viewing, some have never let such prized possessions out of their sight.
Until recently, such was the case with Scène de rue à Montmartre (Impasse des Deux Frères et le Moulin à Poivre), painted in 1887 but not shown to the world until this year — in preparation for its auction on March 25. During its century of possession by a single French family, the painting counted as one of the few privately-held entries in van Gogh’s Montmartre series, which he painted in the eponymous neighborhood during the two years spent in Paris with his brother Theo.
Grace Ebert of Colossal site says that the landscape “marks van Gogh’s turn to his distinctive Impressionist style,” and its “lively street is thought to be the same as that in Impasse des Deux Frères, which currently hangs at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and similarly depicts a mill and flags promoting the cabaret and bar through the gates.”
According to Smithsonian.com, the newly made public painting is expected to sell for between $6 million and $9.7 million (€5 million to €8 million). The auction of the painting will be done through Sotheby’s.