By Henk Tromp
Vincent van Gogh’s work and drawings are fabulously dear. hundreds of thousands of individuals respect his paintings, yet are these masterpieces all real? To this present day, the foreign artwork global struggles to split the true Van Goghs from the pretend ones, and the most important query addressed during this ebook is what could ensue to paintings specialists after they publicly voice their reviews on a specific Van Gogh (or not). the tale begins with artwork professional J.B. de l. a. Faille who came upon to his personal bewilderment that he had integrated dozens of faux Van Goghs in his 1928 catalogue raisonné. He desired to set the checklist immediately, yet met with powerful resistance from artwork purchasers, creditors, critics, politicians and others, marking the start of a fierce conflict of pursuits that had seized the artwork global for plenty of a long time of the 20 th century. In his interesting account of the fight for the real Vincent van Gogh, Tromp indicates the fewer beautiful aspect of the paintings international. His reconstruction of many such confrontations yields a number of fascinating and infrequently bewildering insights into the fates of paintings specialists once they carry unwelcome information.
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Extra resources for A Real Van Gogh: How the Art World Struggles with Truth
Indd 57 29-5-2010 15:23:5529-5-2010 15:23:55 the public eye. A few weeks later – in February and March 1928 – a sales exhibition was held at art dealer M. 1 In July of that year, Wacker sold a drawing by Van Gogh to the Nationalgalerie in Berlin for 9,000 reichsmarks. 2 If malicious stories about Wacker had been making the rounds in the German art world, his colleagues would have dismissed them as gossip and slander. After all, every dealer has had the experience of making a bad buy and knows how easily a presumed golden purchase can turn into a white elephant.
47 The canvases were entirely at odds with the other paintings by Vincent van Gogh. Wacker was a newcomer to the art market. In December 1927 he had attracted attention with an exhibition organized by De la Faille of 120 drawings and watercolors by Vincent taken from prestigious collections, including that of Engineer Van Gogh. This exhibition was the crown of Wacker’s successful sale of Van Goghs over the previous two years. De la Faille was also involved in the organization of the Cassirer exhibition and was asked for his opinion.
Whether we see it as a tragedy, a comedy, or a farce is really a matter of taste. One thing is certain, however: the script was not from his hand alone. There were others – art experts, dealers, collectors, politicians, government officials, and journalists – who also put pen to paper, and each of them would try to bend the action to his own advantage. None of them, however, was able to determine the entire course of events regarding the authenticity of the work of Vincent van Gogh, let alone predict the outcome.
A Real Van Gogh: How the Art World Struggles with Truth by Henk Tromp