A Vincent Van Gogh painting of a Paris street scene, held in a private collection for over a century, sold for €14m at auction today.

Auction house Sotheby's had set an estimated value of between €5m and €8m euros for 'Street Scene in Montmartre' (Scène de rue à Montmartre), painted in 1887 while the artist was lodging with his brother Theo in the French capital.

The Sotheby's team held the auction from Paris with bidding online or by phone from Paris, New York and Hong Kong.

The €14m bid was placed online just as the hammer was coming down to clear a bid at €13.05m.

The painting, which depicts a man and woman strolling arm in arm past a ramshackle fence with a windmill in the background, came from the private collection of a French family.

The painting was shown to the public for the first time last month, after spending more than a century behind closed doors in the family's private collection. The auction house said the painting had been seen in catalogues, but had never itself been on public display.

It is part of a series that Van Gogh produced of scenes in Montmartre, a hilly district of Paris now dominated by the Sacré Coeur church.

Van Gogh arrived in Paris in 1886. He left the city in 1888, saying he had tired of the hectic pace of Paris life.

He moved to the south of France, where he cut off part of his ear during an episode of mental illness. The artist later shot himself and died near Paris on 29 July, 1890.