Elizabeth Taylor Van Gogh fetches $US40m

A Vincent Van Gogh painting once owed by Elizabeth Taylor has sold for $US40 million in New York.
A Vincent Van Gogh painting once owed by Elizabeth Taylor has sold for $US40 million in New York.

Vincent van Gogh's only painting that captures the views outside the French asylum in which he voluntarily stayed has sold for $39.7 million ($A52.96 million) at Christie's auction house in New York.

In 1889, just one year before his death, Van Gogh painted the "Vue de l'asile et de la Chapelle de Saint-Remy" depicting the scenery he saw from the hospital in Saint-Remy where he voluntarily stayed to treat psychological problems that had led him to cut off his own ear a year earlier.

Van Gogh used to paint bucolic views he saw inside the hospital but the "Vue de l'asile" is the only painting among the 150 he produced during his stay that shows the outside.

The painting was on display in Elizabeth Taylor's living room from 1963 until her death in 2011, after which it was auctioned for $US16 million.

Australian Associated Press