The heights of the houses, the attics, in terms of heights, and basements as soon as we go downstairs, are suitable to run into a forgotten or poorly signed work of art and make its owner a type blessed with artistic manna. He spent a few months ago with a Cimabue that adorned the corridor of a house, one of those paintings of a lifetime that nobody paid attention that was bought by calderilla and today almost disputed museums. It is Cimabue, nothing less. And yesterday it happened again with a Van Gogh that was bought in his day for five pounds (we talked about the beginning of the last century and would be the equivalent today to about six euros, more or less) and that after successive Sales and purchases and more sales and other purchases now goes to the hammer in France and can reach 16 million euros, which is not bad and that sounds like a bargain if we are talking about one of the key names in art history.
The work is not a beautiful painting, to deny it, it is an oil that was acquired in its day with more pain than glory in a street market and that ended up at the top of a dilapidated house, but the strange thing about its motive has made it A coveted piece. His story, too. It was abandoned to its fate and was passed from hand to hand through time. Always, in these very long chains that go on for centuries, a look appears that pretends to see what others have not repaired, an eye that discovers a diamond where others have seen a vast glass ass.
The work, we said, is not especially beautiful. It corresponds to the already late age of the artist, who painted it at age 33. The signature was not clear, but radiographs made on the web discovered that Vincent painted the picture, and although the reason is not too common in its production (a farmhouse in the countryside with a young woman at one of its ends) There is already a high-flying fair that rubs its hands waiting to get a good handful of millions.
It is not, of course, frequent that Van Gogh goes out to the hammer, of course we are not in front of a “Doctor Gachet”, that nobody is called to deceit, nor before a vase with splendid sunflowers, but to be it, it is, word Alan Bownes, art historian who was the one who authenticated him in his day and who in time would direct the Tate Gallery. We imagine that the descendants of the initial owner will be lamenting the loss of the work that was sold for five raunchy pounds and that today is the owner’s meat.
The piece, in addition, if the story did not have a shaft in itself, hid an ox-drawn carriage under the oil. That is to say, whoever does with it will take two, even if there is only one reason in sight. From a melancholic air, it has become from now on the jewel that will be scrutinized by all the eyes of those who walk through the TEFAF Fair in Maastricht, a meeting that always looks for the singular and that according to its managing director is «one of the most important landscapes of the Dutch period, rarely seen in public and which has a fascinating origin. If you have 16 million you already know where you can invest them.