A work by van Gogh is being sold by a German auction house for the first time ever
BERLIN/LOS ANGELES – Vincent van Gogh’s 1888 pencil and reed pen drawing “The Plain of the Crau” (La Crau de Montmajour) is the first work by the great master that has been acquired and will be brought to auction by a German art and auction house. The drawing will be the climax of the “Fine Arts” auction to be held live on the Internet by Auctionata, the online art and auction house, Nov. 29, 2013.
The well-preserved drawing originates from the first of the so-called Montmajour series made by the artist in May 1888 – in other words during his most important creative period. The work was created at the same place and in the same year as van Gogh’s recently rediscovered late work, “Sunset at Montmajour”, and exhibits the influence of the art of Japanese woodcuts, which the painter had come to know during his time in Paris.
Whereas most of the works from this series are located today in museums around the world and only seldom appear on the international art market, “The Plain of the Crau” boasts a highly extraordinary history: Purchased in the 1950s from the Richard Feigen Gallery in New York by Harold Hecht (1907-1985), an American film producer and Oscar winner, not only does it now return to the public spotlight more than 60 years later, but it also finds its way back to Berlin after an absence of more than 100 years. The well-known German publisher and gallery owner Paul Cassirer had shown the work in 1907 for the first time in Berlin, as part of the 14th exhibition of the Berlin Secession, after having acquired it directly from van Gogh’s sister-in-law, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger. Duffy Hecht, consignor of the drawing, sums it up: “With the work’s return to Berlin, the circle has been completed.”
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