Van Gogh’s watercolor landscape seized by the Nazis in France was auctioned for a record $ 35.9 million

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A painting by Vincent van Gogh entitled “Meules de blé” (L) is exhibited at Christie’s auction house in New York on October 29, 2021.

A Vincent van Gogh landscape seized by the Nazis during the occupation of France during World War II was auctioned off in New York for $ 35.9 million, a record for a Dutch impressionist watercolor.

The work of 1888, Meules de blu, it was bought for well in excess of its pre-sale estimate of $ 20-30 million, auction house Christie’s said. The last exhibition dates back to 1905.

Meules de blu depicts a haystack in Arles, France, where van Gogh lived for more than a year in the 1880s. Unlike his best-known works, oil paintings, the painting was done in watercolor, gouache, pen and ink on paper.

The work was initially owned by his brother, Theo van Gogh, after the artist’s suicide at the age of 37. After passing through several owners, it was seized by the Nazi forces during the occupation of France.

After the war, the location of the painting was not clear until the 1970s. It was in private hands until Christie’s purchased the work through an agreement with the collector and heirs of the original owners.

Van Gogh is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential painters in art, although he saw little commercial success during his lifetime.

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