A drawing by Vincent van Gogh produced 10.4 million dollars at a Christie‘s auction in New York on Monday, converting about 8.6 million euros. This is the drawing La Mousmé (‘the young girl‘) from 1888, of which Van Gogh also made a painting. The last one is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
The proceeds are a record amount for Van Gogh’s drawings, reports The Art Newspaper: his earlier drawings Een Bloementuin (1888) and Olive trees with the Alpilles (1889) were auctioned in the 1990s for 8,4 and 8,6 million dollars respectively. Christie‘s estimated the proceeds from the work in advance at 7-10 million dollars.
The drawing auctioned today and the painting Van Gogh later made:
Van Gogh drew La Mousmé in the summer of 1888 in Arles, French, inspired by Japanese art and Pierre Loti’s novel Madame Chrysanthème (1887), set in Japan. The author explains the meaning of “mousmé”: “a young girl or a very young woman. It is one of the most beautiful words in Japanese.” In the same year Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo that the girl depicted was somewhere between 12 and 14 years old.
Who the buyer is, has not been disclosed. Whoever sold the drawing didn‘t report Christie’s. According to The Art Newspaper, the drawing comes from the collection of London-based art house Thomas Gibson.