painted june 1890 by Vincent van Gogh
(67.0 x 56.0 cm) in Auvers sur Oise during the last week of the artists life.
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Portrait of Dr Paul Gachet
Art Dealer Theo van Gogh, brother of Vincent van Gogh
inherited the paintings from his brother Vincent.
He died Jan 25 1891, 6 month after his brother Vincent.
The painting remained in the Van Gogh family collection until 1897
when it was sold by Johanna van Gogh Bonger,
widow of Theo van Gogh
for 300 francs.
The buyer was a private art collector from Copenhagen.
In 1904 it was bought by the German Art Dealer and editor Paul Cassirer
in 1904 again by Kessler
in 1910 by Galerie Druet.
1912 the Museum Städel, Francort bought the painting
unter the initiative of Georg Swarzenski.
Swarzenski, the first director of the Liebieg House Museum
received financial backing from the Municipality of Frankfurt
and of Victor Mössinger.
For 21 years the painting was one of the prime art works of the Museum.
1933 Georg Swarzenski was hidding the painting inside the Museum
as he feared the new German Nazi regime might
be a danger for it.
Hermann Göring, German Nazi Minister for Propaganda,
had heared about the painting
and in 1937 he confiscated it for his private collection.
With the help of his art adviser Josef Angerer
the painting was sold to Franz Koenigs for 53,000 $.
It was immediately resold it to Siegfried Kramarsky.
The conditions of the sale
are unclear and
object of disputes.
They are the concern of a Book
"Portrait of Dr. Gachet: The Story of a van Gogh Masterpiece,"
written by Cynthia Saltzman.
See also a letter from Chrisitne Koenigs
Siegfried Kramarsky, owner of the Bank Lisser & Rosenkrantz
kept it in his house in Amsterdam. 1941 he took it along when fleeing to New York with his wife, Lola Kramarsky.
1984 the painting was lend to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
May 15, 1990 the Kramarsky children
auctioned the painting at Christies.
May 15 1990 at around 7:45, the portrait debuted in front of a packed salesroom
at Christie's auction house in New York.
The bidding started at a respectable $20 million and rose swiftly in increments of $1 million,
as if would-be buyers were proffering Monopoly money.
48 million, 49 million, 50 million . . . .
The room erupted in shouts and applause; bidding was furious.
73 million, 74 million, 75 million . . . .
The gavel finally came down, making art-world history.
An unassuming Tokyo art dealer acquired Portrait of Dr. Gachet on behalf of an unknown client,
for a total of $82.5 million ($75 million, plus a 10 percent buyer's commission).
The record auction price topped the previous champion,
van Gogh's Irises,
by some $30 million.
Ryoei Saito caused a scandal when mentionning
that after his death, he wanted to be buried with the painting.
Since 1996, the death of Ryoei Saito
the location of the painting is a mystery.
No one in the international art world seems to know where it is.
It might still be in Tokyo, acquired by one of the financial institutions like Mizuho Bank,
from whom Saito had borrowed money.
History of some van Gogh Paintings
The one and only painting sold during van Gogh´s life
1890 The Red Vineyard was the only Painting van Gogh sold during his lifetime
for 400 Francs (around 1600 $ today)
to Anna Boch.
Due to it´s Legend
the painting (if ever sold ... which is unlikely to happen)
might be the most expensive painting of the World (after the Mona Lisa)