Rothko, van Gogh works up for sale

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Rothko, van Gogh works up for sale

NEW YORK - A late Vincent van Gogh landscape and a 1954 work by Mark Rothko from the collection of Rachel “Bunny’’ Mellon are going on the auction block next month.

Van Gogh’s “The Allee of Alyscamps’’ from 1888 could sell for more than $40 million at Sotheby’s on May 5.

The lush autumnal scene was created during a two-month period when the artist was working side-by-side with his friend Paul Gauguin in Arles, in the south of France.

The painting shows a cypress-lined promenade of the Alyscamps, an ancient Roman burial ground that by 1888 had become a popular lover’s lane.

Sotheby’s said only two works from Van Gogh’s mature period, from 1888 to 1890, appeared at the auction last year. Van Gogh died in 1890.

The current record for the Dutch artist is $82.5 million for his “Portrait of Dr. Gachet,’’ set in 1990.

The auction house also is offering Rothko’s “Untitled (Yellow and Blue)’’ on May 12.

The 8-foot-tall (2.4-meter-tall) abstract painting of large yellow and blue planes is estimated to bring between $40 million to $60 million.

It was acquired by Mellon directly from Rothko’s estate shortly after his death in 1970 and exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., for 10 years. The heir to the Listerine fortune and widow of philanthropist Paul Mellon died in 2013.

The current Rothko record is $86.9 million for his “Orange, Red, Yellow,’’ set in 2012. AP

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