Lockdown, winter weather, and windmills: these are the words that come to mind of late when one thinks of the Netherlands. This small country normally conjures images of tulips, Amsterdam’s cannabis scene and, of course, Dutch art masters.

It is no surprise, then, that an unseen Van Gogh is currently dominating Dutch news. The painting, named “Scene de rue a Montmartre” (Street scene in Montmartre), is said to have been painted just three years before this Dutch Master committed suicide in 1890.

After being kept in the private collection of a (lucky!) French family for almost a century, this recently-unveiled masterpiece shows Parisians walking in the popular tourist destination, Montmartre.

The painting is part of a series of works depicting the famous Moulin de la Galette windmill-turned-dance hall. Van Gogh’s hidden gem encapsulates the atmosphere of pre-industrial rural France.

Van Gogh in Paris

Having arrived in Paris in 1886 and staying with his confidant and brother, Theo, Van Gogh was attracted to the cheap rates of the up-and-coming art scene in Montmartre which is now known for the Sacre Coeur Church.

However, after living there for just two years, Van Gogh became wary of the busy Paris life and moved to Arles, France.

Up for auction

The sale of “Street scene in Montmartre” is being handled by Sotheby’s in Paris where it will be auctioned on March 25. Before arriving in France at the end of March, the work will be publicly displayed in Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The auction house has placed an estimated value between €5 million and €8 million on this Van Gogh, which has not actually been seen in public but has been catalogued.

Small, mostly black-and-white, reproductions of this painting have been made in the past, but now the world can marvel at the unveiled colour-masterpiece of this once-hidden work!