A drawing with watercolor and ink, depicting the famous windmill of the French author Alphonse Daudet, has been recognized as a work by the acclaimed artist Vincent Van Gogh. Experts have estimated the current price of this landscape around $10m, based on a similar artwork sold at public auction 10 years ago (the Guardian).
Artprice, the world leader in art market information, helps you to understand this projective price by analyzing Vincent Van Gogh’s market.
The artwork to which the experts refer to, titled La moisson en Provence, a watercolor with gouache, painted the same year as Le Moulin d’Alphonse. It was sold at Sotheby’s in New York on November 5th, 2003 for $10.3m (including buyer’s premium). The two artworks have indeed many similar characteristics, including the technique, the creation date or the pastoral theme, and therefore can be compared in terms of price.
What La moisson en Provence also tells us is that the price for Vincent Van Gogh’s artworks can be quite stable over time. This watercolor had already been sold at public auction prior to 2003. It was acquired at Sotheby’s London for $13m on June 24th, 1997. One would observe a slight decrease in the sale price over the six years of holding period! But the quality of Van Gogh’s art and his influence on the XXth century have long been of common sense and historic auction results tend to underline that the art market was showing the greatest interest in his painting as early as 1990, when Le portrait du Docteur Gachet set a new world price record at $82.5m.
At this point, the estimation at $10m seems consistent.
However, other works by Vincent Van Gogh drastically increased in value since 2000. As an example: Pollard Willow (1882). This watercolor with gouache was successively sold in 2002, 2007 and 2012 for $471,500, $1.6M and finally $2M. The sale price of this artwork therefore increased by more than 300 % in 10 years.
Notwithstanding, artworks by Vincent Van Gogh are scarce on the art market. No more than a few works, either on canvas or paper, are sold each year at public auction.
Prices are high, and one should not expect to pay less than $100,000 for an original work by the Dutch painter. By observing his past results over the last 15 years, it appears that only 6% of the sold lots reached $10m.
To conclude, it is quite obvious that this artwork is one of the finest by Vincent Van Gogh and one that cannot be estimated lower than $10m. But because high quality paintings by Van Gogh are very difficult to find on the art market, the sale price of Le Moulin d’Alphonse could eventually soar way above this threshold.