Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Van Gogh Museum at 50: A brief history of Van Gogh and the art market

23/03/2023

Van Gogh Museum at 50: A brief history of Van Gogh and the art marketAmsterdam's Van Gogh Museum turns 50 in 2023. The museum attracts over two million visitors each year. Here's a brief history of Van Gogh

by The Conversation

23-03-2023 15:51

in Art and Artists

Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum turns 50 in 2023.

Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum turns 50 in 2023. The museum, dedicated to the art of one of the most famous artists in the world, attracts over two million visitors each year.

--

Yet, despite his fame today, Vincent van Gogh allegedly made only one documented sale of a painting during his lifetime. This was The Red Vineyard, produced near Arles in Provence in the autumn of 1888.

The enlightened buyer was Belgian painter Anna Boch, whose brother was a close friend of the artist. She spotted the vibrant landscape at the 1890 exhibition of the avant-garde group Les XX, of which she was a member.

ALSO READ: Record-breaking Vermeer show opens in Amsterdam

--

The price was 400 francs, the equivalent of around US$2000 (1649) today, and would have seemed like a huge windfall to the struggling Van Gogh. If it were sold at auction today, the same painting could expect to fetch upwards of a hundred million US dollars.

Van Gogh dreamed of achieving posthumous fame and it was not long after he took his own life in July 1890 that the market for his pictures began to develop.

The Red Vineyard, the only painting Vincent van Gogh is certainly known to have sold during his lifetime. Pushkin Museum, Moscow Boch went on to buy a second painting, Peach Blossom in the Crau, in 1891. In the same year Vincent's art dealer brother Theo died of syphilis. Van Gogh had given a handful of works to the artists' colour merchant P re Tanguy in Paris, but it was Theo's widow, Jo van Gogh Bonger, who would inherit the bulk of his vast oeuvre, making her the main source of his paintings.

--

As a result, she controlled the market for Van Gogh in Paris, Berlin, London and, eventually, New York.

ALSO READ: Five things to know about Vermeer

EUROPE'S ART MARKET DISCOVERS VAN GOGH In 1901 the French poet Julien Leclercq, with Van Gogh Bonger's assistance, organised the first Van Gogh retrospective at the Bernheim-Jeune gallery in Paris. The event brought Van Gogh to the attention of the German dealer Paul Cassirer, who went on to create a market for Vincent's work in Berlin, supported by the influential art historian Julius Meier-Graefe.

By 1914 it was estimated that as many as 120 pictures by Van Gogh were in German collections and his work quickly increased in value.

Jo van Gogh-Bonger (1862-1925). Van Gogh Museum / Vincent van Gogh Foundation In Britain, meanwhile, the art dealer with the closest links to Van Gogh was Alexander Reid. In 1887 Reid worked alongside Theo at the firm of Boussod & Valadon in Paris and briefly shared an apartment with both Van Gogh brothers.

However, despite his close physical resemblance to the artist (two portraits of Reid by Van Gogh, now in Glasgow and Oklahoma, were originally catalogued as self-portraits), it was not until the early 1920s that he began to exhibit and sell his pictures to rich industrialists in Glasgow and London. Among the most significant was the Scottish collector Elizabeth Workman, the wife of a successful ship owner.

The most important early collector of Van Gogh's work was another enlightened woman, Helene Kr ller-M ller, who - although German by birth - was based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Advised by the Dutch painter and critic Henk Bremmer, she bought her first work by Van Gogh in 1908. Supported by her industrialist husband Anton (who was initially sceptical of her new-found passion), she went on to acquire no fewer than 91 paintings and over 180 works on paper.

Along with Cassirer, Bremmer helped to push up the price of Van Gogh's work. As a result, fakes began to appear in various galleries and exhibitions. The most famous forgery case was that of the dancer-turned-art dealer Otto Wacker, who was brought to trial in Berlin in 1932.

ALSO READ: Vermeer shines at once in history' Amsterdam show

VAN GOGH'S ART MARKET GOES GLOBAL As the market for Van Gogh's pictures increased, the importance of establishing the authorship of a painting or drawing became even more crucial.

In the 1980s, with the advent of the Japanese craze for Van Gogh, his work began to fetch world records at auction. In 1987 there was huge public debate around the authenticity of the Sunflowers acquired by the Yasuda Marine Insurance company in 1987 for US$39.9 million.

Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat by Vincent van Gogh (1887). Van Gogh Museum / Vincent van Gogh Foundation Three years later the Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito paid the record price of US$82.5 million for the Portrait of Doctor Gachet. Most recently this record was smashed in November 2022, when a Van Gogh landscape of Arles from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's collection sold for US$117 million to an anonymous bidder.

Today the Van Gogh Museum has the last word when it comes to authenticating the artist's work. The Yasuda Sunflowers are now believed to be authentic, based on the picture's provenance, which can be traced back to Jo van Gogh Bonger.

ALSO READ: Banksy unveils new Valentine's Day Mascara' artwork

A more recent discovery of a portfolio of Van Gogh drawings in 2016, however, has not yet been accepted as genuine. But what is it about Van Gogh's work that remains so compelling to prospective buyers, over 130 years after his death?

Today, as we are encouraged to focus on mental health, his work seems to have more relevance than ever. Whatever the reason, and despite the scorn that he endured during his lifetime, the market continues to be seduced - like Boch all those years ago - not only b
LINK: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/culture/art-artists/van-gogh-museum-at...
See more stories from thesouthafrican

Africa Stories

02/06/2023

Poem of the day: I Am Always There - You're Never Alone

Poem of the day: I Am Always There - You're Never AloneA poem a day keeps the soul awake! For the most soulful, authentically African poetry on the internet...

02/06/2023

Netflix releases first 9 minutes of Manifest' season four part two

Netflix releases first 9 minutes of Manifest' season four part twoNetflix has released the first nine minutes of the much anticipated Manifest' seas...

02/06/2023

House of Zwide 2 Teasers - June 2023

House of Zwide 2 Teasers - June 2023This month is going to be intense in House of Zwide. Don't plan to miss any episode. Episode airs every weekday from 19:...

02/06/2023

Tonight on Generations: Anathi doesn't like his colleagues holding out on him

Tonight on Generations: Anathi doesn't like his colleagues holding out on hi...

02/06/2023

Tonight on Scandal: Jojo struggles to keep his cards close to his chest

Tonight on Scandal: Jojo struggles to keep his cards close to his chestGet to know what's happening on tonight's episode!. Scandal episodes airs on e.tv...

02/06/2023

Tonight on House of Zwide: Isaac has a shocking revelation

Tonight on House of Zwide: Isaac has a shocking revelationDon't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode of House of Zwide and Catch the la...

02/06/2023

Tonight on Uzalo: Sibonelo is released from prison

Tonight on Uzalo: Sibonelo is released from prisonDon't get left behind, catch up on Uzalo now! Episodes of Uzalo air on SABC1 from Mondays to Fridays at 20...

02/06/2023

Tonight on Skeem Saam: There's a thorn on Rathebe's side and his name is Babeile

Tonight on Skeem Saam: There's a thorn on Rathebe's side and his name is...

02/06/2023

Tonight on The River: Bukhosi's sins continue to bite him

Tonight on The River: Bukhosi's sins continue to bite himWatch tonight's episode of The River and catch the latest episode every weekday at 20:00 on 1 M...

02/06/2023

Tonight on Gomora: Tshiamo comes up with a big concept for her matric dance dress

Tonight on Gomora: Tshiamo comes up with a big concept for her matric dance dres...

01/06/2023

Generations throwback: Samuel and Sharon were one of the best couples

Generations throwback: Samuel and Sharon were one of the best couplesGenerations throwback, according to Thabiso Mokhethi, Samuel and Sharon were one of the bes...

01/06/2023

Uzalo live updates: Nomaswazi struggles to raise Sibonelo's bail money

Uzalo live updates: Nomaswazi struggles to raise Sibonelo's bail moneyWhat's new on Uzalo? Find out HERE! Stay informed on what's trending on your f...

01/06/2023

Muvhango: Tonight's episode, 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]

Muvhango: Tonight's episode, 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]Missed an episode of Muvhango? No problem! Watch all the latest episodes of Muvhango soapie right here,don&#...

01/06/2023

Tonight on Gqeberha: Cebisa wants to stop Anathi from making the biggest mistake of her life

Tonight on Gqeberha: Cebisa wants to stop Anathi from making the biggest mistake...

01/06/2023

Tonight on Muvhango: Vhutshilo is motivated to pursue his dreams

Tonight on Muvhango: Vhutshilo is motivated to pursue his dreamsDon't miss out on the latest drama in Muvhango! Muvhango episodes airs on SABC2 from Mondays...

01/06/2023

Tonight on 7de Laan: Aggie and Augusta are there to reassure Alexa

Tonight on 7de Laan: Aggie and Augusta are there to reassure AlexaDon't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode of 7de Laan and Catch the ...

01/06/2023

Tonight on Gomora: Pretty learns that her father is alive

Tonight on Gomora: Pretty learns that her father is aliveDon't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode of Gomora, and watch the latest epi...

01/06/2023

7de Laan live updates: Aggie and Augusta are there to reassure Alexa

7de Laan live updates: Aggie and Augusta are there to reassure AlexaWhat's new on 7de Laan? Find out HERE! Stay informed on what's trending on your favo...

01/06/2023

HOUSE OF ZWIDE: Episode for 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]

HOUSE OF ZWIDE: Episode for 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]Missed an episode of House of Zwide? No problem! Watch all the latest episodes of House of Zwide soapie right her...

01/06/2023

Skeem Saam live updates: Ntswaki flips the script on Turf when things get heated for her

Skeem Saam live updates: Ntswaki flips the script on Turf when things get heated...

01/06/2023

SCANDAL: Tonight's episode, 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]

SCANDAL: Tonight's episode, 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]Missed an episode of Scandal ? No problem! Watch all the latest episodes of Scandal soapie right here. Don...

01/06/2023

GENERATIONS: Tonight's episode, 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]

GENERATIONS: Tonight's episode, 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]Missed an episode of Generations ? No problem! Watch all the latest episodes of Generations soapie right ...

01/06/2023

UZALO: Tonight's episode, 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]

UZALO: Tonight's episode, 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]Missed an episode of uzalo? No problem! Just watch all the latest episodes of uzalo soapie right here, don'...

01/06/2023

Gomora live updates:Pretty learns that her father is alive

Gomora live updates:Pretty learns that her father is aliveWhat's new on Gomora? Find out HERE! Stay informed on what's trending on your favorite televis...

01/06/2023

SKEEM SAAM: Tonight's episode, 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]

SKEEM SAAM: Tonight's episode, 1 June 2023 [VIDEO]Missed an episode of Skeem Saam? No problem! Watch all the latest episodes of Skeem Saam soapie right here...

01/06/2023

Scandal live updates: Vuvu shows kindness to a snake

Scandal live updates: Vuvu shows kindness to a snakeWhat's new on Scandal? Find out HERE! Stay informed on what's trending on your favorite television s...

01/06/2023

Generations - The Legacy live updates: Mpho sees straight through Luyolo's lie

Generations - The Legacy live updates: Mpho sees straight through Luyolo's l...

01/06/2023

Scandal soapie teasers: What's happening this June 2023?

Scandal soapie teasers: What's happening this June 2023?This month is going to be intense in Scandal. Scandal! airs on e.tv Mondays to Fridays at 19h30. Don...

01/06/2023

Uganda's anti-LGBTIQ+ law stirs mixed reactions in the world

Uganda's anti-LGBTIQ law stirs mixed reactions in the worldPresident of Uganda, Museveni signed an anti-gay bill in May 2023 and challenged by a prominent ...

01/06/2023

Generations: The Legacy Teasers - June 2023

Generations: The Legacy Teasers - June 2023What an entertaining month we have in store. Generations the legacy episodes airs on SABC1 from Mondays to Fridays at...

01/06/2023

Fast X review: Unraveling the illogical journey of the Fast saga

Fast X review: Unraveling the illogical journey of the Fast sagaFast and Furious 10 explores the convoluted timeline of the series, attempting to rationalize th...

01/06/2023

Anti-gay law: Museveni says Uganda's culture can't be changed

Anti-gay law: Museveni says Uganda's culture can't be changedPresident Museveni has confidently declined the claims that the anti-gay law that he includ...

01/06/2023

Tonight on Generations: Mpho sees straight through Luyolo's lie

Tonight on Generations: Mpho sees straight through Luyolo's lieKeen to know what's happening on the latest episode of Generations: The Legacy?. Generati...

01/06/2023

Tonight on Uzalo: Nomaswazi struggles to raise Sibonelo's bail money

Tonight on Uzalo: Nomaswazi struggles to raise Sibonelo's bail moneyDon't get left behind, catch up on Uzalo now! Episodes of Uzalo air on SABC1 from Mo...

01/06/2023

Tonight on Scandal: Vuvu shows kindness to a snake

Tonight on Scandal: Vuvu shows kindness to a snakeGet to know what's happening on tonight's episode!. Scandal episodes airs on e.tv Mondays to Fridays a...

01/06/2023

Tonight on Skeem Saam: Ntswaki flips the script on Turf when things get heated for her

Tonight on Skeem Saam: Ntswaki flips the script on Turf when things get heated f...

01/06/2023

Tonight on The River: Lindiwe will swap anything she has to save her family

Tonight on The River: Lindiwe will swap anything she has to save her familyWatch tonight's episode of The River and catch the latest episode every weekday a...

01/06/2023

African Proverb of the day: 01 June 2023

African Proverb of the day: 01 June 2023An African proverb reflects and reveals a community's culture that provides a glimpse into its value systems, belief...

01/06/2023

Poem of the day: Every Scar Has A Story

Poem of the day: Every Scar Has A StoryA poem a day keeps the soul awake! For the most soulful, authentically African poetry on the internet, check out Poem of ...

01/06/2023

Red Bull Racing celebrates Pride Month

Red Bull Racing celebrates Pride MonthRed Bull Racing is celebrating Pride Month by welcoming the Team's partners, Racing Pride, back to the Red Bull Techno...

01/06/2023

Soapie teasers: What's happening in 7de Laan in June 2023?

Soapie teasers: What's happening in 7de Laan in June 2023?Another great month ahead. Episodes air on SABC2 from Mondays to Fridays at 18h00, Don't miss ...

01/06/2023

Muvhango soapie teasers: What's happening this June 2023?

Muvhango soapie teasers: What's happening this June 2023?Muvhango is full of twists and exciting drama this month. Muvhango airs on SABC2 from Mondays to Fr...

01/06/2023

Gqeberha: The Empire Teasers - June 2023

Gqeberha: The Empire Teasers - June 2023What an entertaining month we have in store. Gqeberha: The Empire episodes airs on Mzansi Magic from Mondays to Fridays ...

01/06/2023

Gomora 4 Teasers - June 2023

Gomora 4 Teasers - June 2023Are you ready to be entertained this month? Premiere episodes of Gomora air on Mzansi Magic from Mondays to Fridays at 19h30. by S...

01/06/2023

Soapie teasers: What's happening in The River 6 - June 2023?

Soapie teasers: What's happening in The River 6 - June 2023?This month is dramatic in The River. The River 5 episodes airs on 1Magic from Mondays to Fridays...

01/06/2023

Skeem Saam Teasers - June 2023

Skeem Saam Teasers - June 2023Are you ready for another Skeem Saam rollercoaster ride this month? Skeem Saam airs on SABC1 Mondays to Fridays at 18h30. by SA ...

01/06/2023

Uzalo soapie teasers: What's happening this June 2023?

Uzalo soapie teasers: What's happening this June 2023?Uzalo continues its fine form this month. Premiere episodes of Uzalo air on SABC1 from Mondays to Frid...

31/05/2023

Tonight on Skeem Saam: Rathebe takes Alfred up on his dinner invite

Tonight on Skeem Saam: Rathebe takes Alfred up on his dinner inviteFind out what's going on tonight on Skeem Saam!. Skeem Saam episodes airs on SABC1 Monday...

31/05/2023

Tonight on 7de Laan: Alexa prescribes medication for Zee who is unwell

Tonight on 7de Laan: Alexa prescribes medication for Zee who is unwellDon't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode of 7de Laan and Catch ...

31/05/2023

Tonight on House of Zwide: Nkosi cries over his brother's fate

Tonight on House of Zwide: Nkosi cries over his brother's fateDon't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode of House of Zwide and Catc...