Rare Van Gogh painting fetches millions at auction

An early landscape painting by Vincent Van Gogh has sold for €7m ($NZ12 million) at an auction in Paris.

The painting “Raccommodeuses de filet dans les dunes” by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh is presented at Artcurial auction house in Paris. Photo: AFP

Painted in 1882, Fishing Net Menders in the Dunes depicts peasant women working on the land, inspired by countryside around The Hague in the Netherlands.

It was bought by an American collector after a bidding war that pushed the price above its estimate between €3m and €5m ($NZ8.3m).

The painting is the first Van Gogh to be auctioned in France for more than 20 years.

“It‘s fetched such a high price because there are hardly any Van Goghs on the market,” auctioneer Francis Briest said.

“You can only find them in private collections or museums, and therefore buyers are prepared to pay over the odds for a work of this quality and importance.”

Van Gogh painted the work when he was 29 years old, during a formative period spent living near The Hague.

“We already find all the characteristics of a Vincent painting, especially his treatment of landscape,” said Bruno Jaubert, associate director of modern art at auction house Artcurial.

The painting was the only landscape work Van Gogh produced at the time, Mr Jaubert said.

The last sale at a Paris auction of a Van Gogh painting was The Garden at Auvers, sold in the mid-1990s for $10m.

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