Getting your hands on an original Vincent Van Gogh piece is no easy feat. However, giving enthusiasts a chance to do that is Christie’s with the sale of the iconic Champs près des Alpilles at its upcoming auction in New York.
The masterpiece carries a presale estimate of $45 million, making it one of the most valuable items of its kind. It showcases a vivid green wheatfield with a majestic tree framed by the peaks of the Alpilles and a citron-color sky in the background.
Apparently, the oil-on-canvas was painted during Van Gogh’s stay in an asylum in Saint-Rémy in Southern France. He took inspiration from his surroundings during his treatment there, with the wheatfield in question being visible from outside his room.
The iconic painting was then gifted by the artist to Joseph Roulin, a postman with whom he had become friends while living in Arles. Roulin kept the work with him until the year 1900 and later sold it to a French dealer.
Commenting on it, Vanessa Fusco, Christie’s co-head of the New York 20th century evening sale in a statement to ARTnews, said, “Works of this quality from Van Gogh’s mature period are rarely available on the market.”
She further described the painting as being “inextricably linked to Vincent’s own tragic biography.” Remaining in private hands up until now, Van Gogh’s Champs près des Alpilles will be sold on May 11. It is currently on display at Christie’s London headquarters until March 1 and will also be showcased at the auction house’s outposts in Taipei and Hong Kong before going under the hammer.