Here’s Your Chance to Buy a Van Gogh That Once Belonged to a James Bond Villain

Vincent van Gogh, Moulin de la Galette
Vincent van Gogh, Moulin de la Galette (1887), once owned by the real-life industrialist who inspired James Bond villain Goldfinger. Courtesy Dickinson, London.

Vincent van Gogh’s Le Moulin de la Galette (1887), on offer at TEFAF Maastricht (March 14–23, 2014) in London-based gallery Dickinson‘s booth, has a uniquely intriguing provenance: the work was once part of the collection of American industrialist Charles Engelhard, who inspired Ian Fleming’s iconic James Bond villain Auric Goldfinger.

Engelhard made his money importing gold from South Africa that he had cast into art objects, exploiting a loophole in regulations that prevented the exporting of gold bullion. He was known for his extravagant lifestyle, replete with private jets, race horses, and an expansive art collection. The painting for sale this week is part of a larger series by van Gogh of the same name, all depicting a windmill near the artist’s apartment in the Montmartre neighborhood in Paris.


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