A ‘beautiful and poignant’ still life painted by Van Gogh just weeks before his suicide is expected to fetch up to $50 million when it goes up for auction at New York City’s Sotheby’s later this year.
Know in some quarters as the Van Gogh ‘suicide’ painting, the still life ‘Vase with Daises and Poppies’ is said to be the most important work of its kind auctioned since the 1980s.
The painting, which captures, you guessed it, a bunch of daises and poppies in a vase, was painted by Van Gogh in 1890 at the house of his close friend, Dr. Gachet, in Auvers-sur-Oise, Paris. Not long after creating the multimillion dollar masterpiece, the Dutch artist shot himself in the chest with a revolver and ended his brief 37-year spell on this planet.
Simon Shaw, co-head of Impressionist and modern art at Sotheby’s, described Gogh’s painting as ‘beautiful and vibrant’, and one which, “Captures the artist at the height of the mania, only weeks before his tragic end.”
Mr Shaw told The Daily Mail that because of Van Gogh’s early death, the artist works were in “radically diminished supply.”
“Unlike Monet and Picasso, who were very productive artists with long, prolific careers, Van Gogh only painted for a very short time.”
Believed to have been a bipolar sufferer, Van Gogh’s works often reflect his manic episodes of high energy and creativity tempered by his dark spells of depression.
Van Gogh’s illness would have probably been aggravated by the fact that during his lifetime, his work went largely unnoticed and unrecognized by the dismissive and elitist art critics of the day.
So broke was Van Gogh when he was alive, he had to rely on his brother for not only funds to live, but for the tools of his trade such as paint, brushes, and canvas with which to create his masterpieces.
Fast forward to the 21st century and a new set of art critics cannot wait to sing the praises of Van Gogh’s stylistic attributes of rough beauty, emotional honesty and bold color. In fact, they’ll put a $50 million price tag on it.
Of course, Van Gogh’s name and talent are making a lot of people obscenely rich today, but what’s ‘particularly poignant’ about Van Gogh’s latest work to go under the hammer is that according to Mr Shaw, Van Gogh picked the flowers for the picture from the meadows where he is thought to have shot himself the following month.