Van Gogh | Portraits of the Artist

The Late Show | Van Gogh

Why are Van Gogh's paintings fetching such high prices at auction?

CHANNEL | BBC 2

FIRST BROADCAST | 16 May 1990

DURATION | 7 minutes 20 seconds

FIRSTBROADCAST

1990

Synopsis

Tracey Macleod reports on the sale of 'Dr Gachet', a painting by Van Gogh, that has been bought for $82.5m at Christie's in New York. She is joined in the studio by art historian Andrew Brighton, who sheds light on some of the reasons why, in his centenary year, Van Gogh's paintings appear to be breaking records each time one comes up for sale.

Did you know?

The subject of the record-breaking painting featured in this programme is Paul-Ferdinand Gachet, a physician who treated Van Gogh unsuccessfully for his 'madness'. Gachet was hired by Van Gogh's brother, Theo, who knew about his sensitivity towards artists and his friendship with painters such as Paul Cezanne. Although the painting is believed to reveal its creator's affection for the doctor, Van Gogh described him in his letters as 'sicker than I am, I think, or shall we say just as much'.

Contributors

Tracey Macleod
Presenter
Andrew Brighton
Contributor
Subject of programme
Producer
Producer
Roly Keating
Series Editor
Executive Producer

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