Vincent Van Gogh


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Status, price and estimation of the artist Vincent Van Gogh

Price of a painting: 200,000 – 78,000,000 €.

Estimate of a drawing or watercolour by the artist for auction: 100,000 – 5,000,000 €.

Van Gogh – largely self-taught

Vincent Wilhem Van Gogh was born into a family of the former Dutch bourgeoisie, and initially wanted to start a career as an art dealer like his uncle and brother Theo, whom he was very close to. Refusing to see art as a commodity, he then turned to studying theology with a view to becoming a pastor and rubbing shoulders with the poor and mining circles of Hainaut; although he abandoned his pastoral career, he kept the image of human misery, which would follow him in some of his works.

Vincent Van Gogh’s artistic career began in Brussels, where he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts before opening a small studio in The Hague between 1882 and 1883. Then, after a short stay in Drenthe, Van Gogh joined his brother Theo in Nuenen in the Netherlands. It was at this time that the artist’s talent was revealed, he was strongly influenced by the realistic painting of the Barbizon painters and the Hague school and produced dark canvases taking popular subjects as his themes.

French peregrinations and productions

In 1886, Vincent joined his brother Theo in Paris and frequented Cormond’s studio, meeting Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Louis Anquetin and Émile Bernard. Through his brother, Vincent also met all the Impressionists. His compositions are full of experiments, sometimes inspired by Japanese, sometimes marked by the neo-impressionism of Signac and Pissaro or the cloisonnism of E. Bernard and L. Anquetin.

In 1888, Vincent moved to Arles and a new page opened in his painting, as he discovered the light of Provence. He also struck up a tumultuous friendship with Paul Gauguin, who joined him in October 1888. Two months later, a crisis broke out, Van Gogh cut off his ear in a fit of madness and painted his famous Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear some time later. In 1889, Van Gogh entered the asylum of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence where he remained very prolific and painted, in particular, his great series of paintings of wheat fields.

Vincent spent the last months of his life in Auvers-sur-Oise where Doctor Paul Gachet, a friend of Cézanne’s whom Van Gogh represented in a famous painting, cared for him. The painter then enjoyed great fame and painted over 70 pictures, depicting peasant life in particular. In July 1890, again the victim of a personal crisis, Vincent Van Gogh committed suicide with a pistol shot in abdomen. His brother Theo also died a few months later.

Artistic approach and notoriety

Vincent Van Gogh’s artistic approach has been made quite clear to the public through the many letters he wrote to his brother Theo. Vincent’s style evolved considerably over the course of his encounters and his wanderings. He produced numerous self-portraits throughout his life, allowing him to test his artistic experiments. In the same way, Japanism exerted a lasting fascination on the artist; his works were influenced by it, especially during his Parisian period, and as is seen in his latest productions.

To refine his artistic research, Van Gogh also enjoyed producing series of canvases on the same subject, often related to nature: sunflowers, wheat fields, flourishing orchards or even cypresses, where we see for the first time his whirlwind painting technique which will find its apogee in La nuit étoilée, painted during his stay in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and preserved at the MoMa in New York. Evening and night scenes took up a large part of the painter’s artistic research, as he considered the night to be more alive than the day.

Although Van Gogh’s work has been linked to several artistic movements – impressionism, Fauvism, pointillism, the artist is in fact a very unique personality in the French artistic landscape of the time, making him one of the most recognised painters in the world. His canvases are almost priceless; the auction record for a work by Van Gogh is over 75 million dollars, for a Portrait of Doctor Gachet, sold in 1990 at Christie’s New York.

Appraising and selling a painting by Van Gogh

If you own a painting or any other sculpture by Van Gogh, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.