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Van Gogh Owned by James Bond's Archrival Offered at TEFAF

  • March 10, 2014 10:12

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Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890), Moulin de la Galette,1887, oil on canvas, 55 x 38.5 cm

A Vincent van Gogh painting that once belonged to an American millionaire who Ian Fleming modeled James Bond's villainous foe Goldfinger after will go on sale at TEFAF Maastricht.

Known as a key work that boosted van Gogh's renown, Moulin de la Galette will be offered by Dickinson of London and New York during TEFAF, the prestigious international art fair held in the MECC from March 14 to 23, 2014.

“It was painted in Paris during a hugely important period in Van Gogh’s life when he changed from painting sombre scenes of Dutch peasant life to producing brilliantly-coloured Post-Impressionist landscapes. It is rare to have such a prominent  signature in a work of this date and it is one of only two of his series of paintings depicting windmills of Montmartre still in private hands, which was last exhibited in public in 1965.”, says James Roundell of Dickinson.

Painted in April 1887, when Van Gogh was at the apex of his artistic evolution towards a more saleable Impressionist style, the work shows his change from Dutch rural scenes to his signature expressive colorist painting style for which he became known. His brother Theo encouraged this metamorphisis after Vincent's arrival in Paris to live with him in 1886.

Moulin de la Galette was one in his series of windmills done in the artsy hub of Montmartre, and this vibrant painting bears the rare signature of van Gogh.

After Theo's death, Moulin de la Galette passed to his widow Johanna van Gogh-Bonger who received a large collection of Vincent’s paintings and letters. She was determined to make Vincent posthumously famous and set about organising a series of exhibitions of his work over the next few years of which the most crucial was a major show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1905. This cemented Van Gogh’s reputation as a vital force in Post-Impressionist painting and a label on the back ofMoulin de la Galette reveals that it was included in the exhibition. The Parisian windmill scene helped make Van Gogh’s reputation but in 1906 Johanna gave it to the painter Isaac Israëls, who had been her lover for three years after Theo’s death, in exchange for a portrait.

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