A picture from the estate of Van Gogh’s flatmate and portrait subject comes to auction at John Nicholson’s Auctioneers in Surrey.
Alexander Reid (1854-1928) was a 19th-century art dealer who shared lodgings in Paris with Vincent van Gogh, who painted a notable portrait of him now in Glasgow Art Gallery.
Reid passed his love of art – and part of his art collection – to his descendants, one of whom has consigned a city scene by his Swiss-born French contemporary, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923), to John Nicholson’s Fine Art auction on January 25.
Showing figures gathered in a busy city square at night, with the French Tricolore in abundance, it is a signed 46 x 35cm (18 x 13½in) watercolour. The picture shows the graphic qualities that Steinlen brought so successfully to his commissions for Le Chat Noir, the Montmartre nightclub whose iconic 1896 Art Nouveau poster, among other fabled designs, helped spread his fame. The estimate is £1,000-1,500.