Van Gogh Paintings Attract Record Prices At Auction

Vincent Van Gogh Blossoming Almond Tree

Vincent van Gogh is one of the most famous master artist of the 19th century, with his works fetching millions at the auction houses in recent years. While Van Gogh sold only one paining during his lifetime, today the whereabouts of some of his famous works remain a mystery, and when others are sold, art lovers are willing to pay exorbitant prices just to add a van Gogh to their private collections.

Vincent van Gogh’s “Portrait of Dr. Gachet”  painted in 1890, was a highly desirable piece of art, and sold within three minutes in 1990 for a whopping $75 million plus 10-percent in commission. The unidentified buyer, represented by a Tokyo art dealer, successfully purchased the masterpiece, and its whereabouts is still unknown. The sale broke the record held by for van Gogh’s “Irises,” which sold for $40 million.

Today, the masterpieces that Vincent van Gogh created in the mid to late 1800′s are rarely seen except in famous museums around the world. Art collectors who do own them rarely list them for sale and the paintings are regarded by the art world as priceless.

At Christie’s in New York in 1987, the crowd was wowed by two anonymous telephone auction competitors who dueled for Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, and when the gavel came down on the final bidding, the price was set at $39.9 million. The painting was one of his final works of art before he committed suicide in France. Up until the time of his death, he had only sold one painting.

In May 2006, Christie’s in New York, auctioned from a private collection,  ”L’Arlesienne,”  for a record $40.3 million, another Van Gogh masterpiece, and in February, 2012, Christie’s in London is scheduled to auction the van Gogh masterpiece, “View Of The Church Of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole” that is sure to thrill art lovers around the globe.

Vincent van Gogh was not largely known or recognized for his work at the time of his death in 1890. He was a Dutch post-Impressionist, leaning toward expressive works that later had huge impacts on the 20th century art world. His paintings continue to have great influence on art lover’s who flock to world renowned auction houses for the opportunity to bid on one of the magnificent works. He interpreted his works that gives cause for the viewer to appreciate it in a way that, otherwise, might have been overlooked.

“I’ve done the portrait of M. Gachet with a melancholy expression, which might well seem like a grimace to those who see it. . . . Sad but gentle, yet clear and intelligent, that is how many portraits ought to be done. . . . There are modern heads that may be looked at for a long time, and that may perhaps be looked back on with longing a hundred years later.” VINCENT VAN GOGH, JUNE, 1890


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