Fame After Death

“I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God’s help I shall succeed”. —Vincent Van Gogh

It wasn’t as though Vincent Van Gogh’s work died when he and his brother died. When Theo died’ all of Vincent’s work was left to Theo’s son’ Vincent. Timing was everything’ and between things just coming together at the right time in the right place and Theo’s last attempts to have his brother’s work seen’ Vincent’s work began to get quite popular. Slowly’ news of his beautiful works was being spread and Vincent was better known than he could have ever imagined being. And’ as we know’ this wasn’t to be a short-lived fame brought on just by his tragic life and death. Vincent’s works began traveling all over the world to the delight and inspiration of people from all walks of life.

In 1960 The Vincent Van Gogh Foundation was created to protect the paintings that were still in the family’ and V.W. Van Gogh’ his second wife’ and three of his children sat on the board’ along with Dutch government officials. The Vincent Van Gogh Foundation was collecting and preserving the pieces of artwork so that they could be kept until they were eventually housed in a museum that was going to be built just for Vincent’s expanse collection of works.

In 1962 The Vincent Van Gogh Foundation actually bought all of the family owned paintings that remained. Despite what many believe’ this collection of paintings was bought with the full support and agreement of the Van Gogh family that wished to preserve the paintings for all time. The Dutch parliament actually passed a bill approving the proposal to buy the collections on July 21st and both the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation and the state signed the agreement.

The Vincent Van Gogh Foundation held the collection of pieces until 1973 when the Vincent Van Gogh Museum opened on June second of that year. Today the museum holds hundreds of Vincent’s works’ as well as hundreds of the letters to Theo that really document the daily life of Vincent as well as let us get to know him on a different level. The Van Gogh Museum is one of the best places to truly get a glimpse of the different techniques and stages of Vincent’s work’ as well as capture a real sense of the man behind each brush stroke.

In 1990′ and the centenary of Vincent Van Gogh’s death’ the Van Gogh Museum mounted a retrospective exhibit including more than 120 paintings from March 30-July 29. In May of that same year’ Vincent’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet was sold at a Christie’s auction for $8.25 million’ which was the highest price a painting has ever sold for.

Vincent Van Gogh could have never imagined this much money’ let alone being paid that amount of money for one of his paintings.

Ama<ingly’ in November of 1990′ Vincent’s pen and ink drawing Garden with Flowers breaks another record’ selling for $8.36 million’ making it the highest price ever paid for a drawing. 100 years after his death’ it cannot be denied that Vincent Van Gogh has truly made it as an artist.

He is respected and admired all over the world; it just doesn’t get more ironic than that.

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