Van Gogh's portrait of a prostitute coming up for sale
Art Business

Van Gogh’s portrait of a prostitute coming up for sale

Adventures with Van Gogh is a weekly blog by Martin Bailey, our long-standing correspondent and expert on the artist. Published every Friday, his stories will range from newsy items about this most intriguing artist to scholarly pieces based on his own meticulous investigations and discoveries. Christie’s, more discreetly, entitles it “Portrait de femme” Christie’s is due to sell Van Gogh’s finest painting from his Antwerp period—a portrait of a woman he encountered in a cabaret. The artist wryly commented that “she’d evidently had a few busy nights”. Although a dancer, she also likely worked as a prostitute. Christie’s, demurely, are entitling the picture “Portrait de femme: buste, profil gauche”. The portrait by Van Gogh coming up for sale in London on 27 February 2019, as part of a collection assembled in the 1980s by an anonymous American. As the catalogue has not been published, the estimate is not yet known, although it is expected to be tens of millions of dollars. When Van Gogh moved from his parents’ village of Nuenen to the bustling port of Antwerp for the winter of 1885-86 he was immediately struck by the lively nightlife enjoyed by the sailors. He then developed the bizarre […]

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