A Van Gogh masterpiece once owned by Yves Saint Laurent to lead Christie’s sale

Estimated around $45,000,000, ‘Champs près des Alpilles’ was painted in 1889

March 1, 2022: Vincent van Gogh’s Champs près des Alpilles, 1889 (estimate on request; region of $45,000,000) will be a leading highlight of the 20th Century Art Evening Sale in May at Rockefeller Center in New York City. This rare work was one of two canvases sent from the artist while living in an asylum in Saint-Rémy to his close friend Joseph Roulin in Marseille at the beginning of 1890. 

Vincent van Gogh art auction

Vanessa Fusco, Co-Head of Christie’s New York 20th Century Evening Sale, remarked: “With its gestural, expressive handling and bold, vibrant color, Champs près des Alpilles exemplifies the key characteristics of Van Gogh’s trademark style – a style which is beloved and admired all over the world.”

Depicting an expansive vista spanning a vivid green wheatfield with a majestic tree framed by the monumental peaks of the Alpilles in the background, all pictured beneath a citron-color sky, this landscape comprises the signature subjects Van Gogh is known for during this important year. 

It was during his stay in Saint-Rémy that Van Gogh’s mature style truly emerged. He transformed the world around him into dazzling visions of often heightened color conveyed with evermore animated brushstrokes, both of which serve to imbue these canvases with a powerful—and highly influential—expressive charge. The Starry Night was also painted during this phase of his life. At this time, painting and nature itself took on a central importance to the artist.

The Christie’s catalogue will enlist that the painting was once owned by designer Yves Saint Laurent. Champs près des Alpilles will be on view along with selected highlights from the 20th Century / 21st Century Evening Sales in Taipei and Hong Kong before returning to New York, where it will be on exhibition at Christie’s New York ahead of the sale in May.

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