Van Gogh Painting Seen for the First Time in 134 Years
Although the world is quite familiar with Vincent van Gogh’s artistry, some of his best pieces have been in the hands of private collectors for a long time.
That was the case for his work called “Street Scene in Montmarte.” This painting is an oil on canvas that includes the pepper mill in the background. The artist painted the image during the spring of 1887. You can also see a couple walking together during a windy day while enjoying the entertainment options in the neighborhood.
What makes this painting unique for fans of Vincent van Gogh is that it is one of the first ventures into the distinctive Impressionist style he used for future pieces.
The painting was recently put up for auction at Sotheby’s. It measures just over 46 x 61 centimeters in size.
Only One Photograph Verified Its Existence
Before the Vincent van Gogh painting was taken out of the private collection to be put up for auction, the only evidence of its existence was a single photograph. It was a black-and-white image that was released to the public in 1972.
Art experts believe that the painting, which hasn’t been seen for 134 years outside of that single image, is based on the same street of the work called “Impasse des Deux Freres.” That work is currently hanging in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, showing a similar mill and flags that promote the local cabaret.
How the family could come into possession of the Vincent van Gogh painting is still a bit of a mystery. Many of the artist’s works at that time were gifted to Theo, his brother. Could it have been used to settle a debt? Was it offered as a gift?
Depending on the current and future COVID-19 precautions, the painting is scheduled to be on display in Paris, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam.
Why Are Van Gogh Paintings Famous?
Although Vincent van Gogh didn’t receive much attention for his work while he was alive, fans and critics of the painter all generally agree that he was one of the greatest painters in human history.
His painting’s processes had a massive influence on several following eras, including early abstraction, expressionism, Fauvism, and post-Impressionism.
Almost everyone is familiar with several of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings, including Sunflowers and The Starry Night.
The reasons why someone might like these paintings are individualized, but here are some ideas that help to shed some light on why his works stand strong even today.
1. He used a multi-school approach.
Vincent van Gogh didn’t start painting until his late 20s. That means almost all of his works were created within a ten-year period, with his most famous pieces occurring only months before he tragically took his life.
During his era, the art scene was focusing on a transition from realism to post-Impressionism. It then went toward what we’d call modernism today. Vincent van Gogh was able to adapt to all of those approaches with his techniques.
2. He offers a novel interpretation.
Artists are the mirrors that reflect how they see the universe. When you look at a painting by Vincent van Gogh, you know that it is his work. Not only could he convey the images he saw while working, but he also brought out feelings of connectivity with the final product.
Even if he was drawing inspiration from other artists, you could still see him incorporate his personal touches to the framework, colors, or structures. That’s why his work has an unmistakable edge when compared to his contemporaries.
3. He uses several inspiration sources.
When you look at Vincent van Gogh’s work, you can find everything from a day in his life to a self-portrait to Japanese woodblock prints. His style is uniquely expressive.
He was also limited with his financial resources since his paintings struggled to find commercial success. Since he couldn’t pay models, he painted himself. When that wasn’t suitable, he’d use a tree, a field, or a church.
4. He was ahead of his time.
What makes Vincent van Gogh unique is that he never tried to tame his creative experimentation. He created an artistic niche that was entirely his own. That’s why a painting like “Street Scene in Montmarte” has so much value to it. We can all identify with that moment, and it feels like we’re standing there with him even though the event happened over 130 years ago.
The painting sold for $15.4 million in March 2021.
Photo Credit: Sotheby’s/ArtDigital Studio