Resources for Communication Problems

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

Portrait of Dr. Gachet (1890)

$82.5 - $136.1 Million

Portrait of Dr. Gachet is one of the most revered paintings by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh and fetched a record price of $82.5 million ($75 million, plus a 10 percent buyer's commission)[1] in 1990.

There are two authentic versions of this portrait, both painted in June 1890 during the last months of Van Gogh's life. Both show Doctor Gachet sitting at a table and leaning his head onto his right arm, but they are easily differentiated.

The portraits were painted in Auvers-sur-Oise close to Paris, and depict Doctor Paul Gachet with a foxglove (Fingerhut 指顶花 Digitalis 洋地黄) plant. Gachet took care of Van Gogh during the artist's last months. Gachet was a hobby painter and became good friends with Van Gogh. The foxglove in the painting is a plant from which digitalis is extracted for the treatment of certain heart complaints; the foxglove is thereby an attribute of Gachet as a doctor.

Ah! portraiture, portraiture with the thought, the soul of the model in it, that is what I think must come."[3]

Van Gogh wrote to his brother in 1890 about the painting:

”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.

Irises鳶尾 1889

$53.9 - $102.3 Million

Irises is a painting by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. It was one of his first works while he was at the asylum at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France in the last year before his death in 1890.

It was painted before his first attack at the asylum. There is a lack of the high tension which is seen in his later works. He called the painting "the lightning conductor for my illness", because he felt that he could keep himself from going insane by continuing to paint.

The painting was influenced by Japanese ukiyo-e 浮世絵 woodblock prints (木版印刷(もくはんいんさつ)), like many of his works and those by other artists of the time. The similarities occur with strong outlines, unusual angles, including close-up views and also flattish local colour (not modelled according to the fall of light).

Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe 1889

$71.5 –$94.6 Million

Van Gogh painted Self-Portrait without beard just after he had shaved himself. The self-portrait is one of the most expensive paintings of all time, selling for $71.5 million in 1998 in New York. At the time, it was the third (or an inflation-adjusted fourth) most expensive painting ever sold.

Vincent van Gogh created many self-portraits during his lifetime. Most probably, Van Gogh's self portraits are depicting the face as it appeared in the mirror he used to reproduce his face, i.e. his right side in the image is in reality the left side of his face. All Self-Portraits executed in Saint-Rémy show the artist's head from the left, i.e. the side with ear not mutilated.

A Wheatfield with Cypresses 1889 麥田裡的絲柏樹》

$57 - $85.1 Million

Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers 1888

$39.7 - $75.4 Million

Sunflowers (original title, in French, Tournesols) are the subject of a series of still life paintings executed in oil on canvas by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. Among the Sunflowers paintings are three similar paintings with fifteen sunflowers in a vase, and two similar paintings with twelve sunflowers in a vase.

Van Gogh began painting in late summer 1888 and continued into the following year. One went to decorate his friend Paul Gauguin's bedroom. The paintings show sunflowers in all stages of life, from fully in bloom to withering. The paintings were innovative for their use of the yellow spectrum, partly because newly invented pigments made new colours possible. In a letter to his brother Theo, van Gogh wrote: the sunflower is mine in a way.

Sunflowers, the complete series of paintings.

Analysis of two sunflower paintings.

Account of the controversy over van Gogh forgeries

Sunflowers - Zoomable version

Van Gogh - Paintings

Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat 1890

$47.5 - $63.8 Million

Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat is an 1890 painting by Vincent van Gogh. On October 7, 2005, it was announced that Stephen Wynn had sold the painting along with Gauguin's Bathers to Steven A. Cohen for $100 million.

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