When van Gogh’s Sunflowers broke a record

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March 30, On This Day

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There exist many iterations of Vincent van Gogh’s fascination with sunflowers, but one in particular — Still Life: Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers — made art history on March 30, 1987, when a Japanese insurance magnate reportedly paid the equivalent of US $39,921,750 for the artwork at a Christie’s London auction. Interestingly, the record was broken a few months later with the purchase of another van Gogh, Irises, by Alan Bond for $53.9 million at Sotheby’s, New York on November 11, 1987.

Via wikimedia.org
Via wikimedia.org

Originally called Tournesols in French, Sunflowers is the name of two series of still life paintings by van Gogh, both sets linked by the name of his friend and famed artist Paul Gauguin.

Paul Gauguin: The Painter of Sunflowers, 1888 | wikimedia.org