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A watercolor painting by Vincent Van Gogh featuring two Jewish families and Nazi art collectors sold at auction on Thursday for $35.8 million, a record for an artist’s work on paper.

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The “Mules de Ble” is one of a series of crop paintings made in June 1888 during his stay in Arles, southern France, where he intended to start an artist colony with friend and fellow Post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin.

In 1913, the painting was bought by Max Mierowski, a Jewish-German industrialist with a vast art collection – he sold the painting in 1938 as part of the persecution of Jews for his family’s escape from Germany. began to grow,

By the time the Nazis invaded Paris in 1940, the painting was in the collection of Alexandrine de Rothschild, a member of the French branch of the wealthy Jewish banking family.

Rothschild’s art fund was confiscated by the Nazis after he fled to Switzerland, and when he recovered parts of his missing collection after the war, the “Mules de Ble” disappeared for decades until 1978, when the painting came up for sale in Wildenstein & Co. and was bought by the late Texas oil tycoon Edwin L Cox, who had a passion for Impressionist paintings.

Cox hangs “Mules de Ble” in the drawing room of his mansion and his ownership of the painting in Dallas keeping a secret For everyone except close friends and family until his death last year, according to art newspaper,

Christie’s said the auction house helped negotiate a settlement between the heirs of Cox, Mirowski and Rothschild, allowing the painting to be sold.


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