Sunflowers Third Version
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mhoutzager's picture


Nothing like a bouquet of sunflowers to cheer you up when you're Vincent van Gogh-ing crazy in the south of France!

When fellow crazy painter Paul Gauguin came to visit, van Gogh thought it might be fun to spruce his house up a bit, so he produced a series of seven paintings of happy-go-lucky sunflowers in a vase. Van Gogh's batch of sunflowers is without a doubt the most iconic still life series ever painted. By anyone. In the history of the universe.

In spite of there being seven versions, demand has consistently exceeded supply. When the seventh version went up for auction in 1987, Japanese insurance tycoon Yasuo Goto paid $40 million for it. That was the highest price paid for any work of art up until that time. Goto caused a bit of a stir when he told reporters that he planned to have the painting buried with him. For a period this comment earned him a special place in the pantheon of narcissistic alpha males. It turned out he was just kidding about the whole burial thing. After his death in 1998, the painting went to the Sompo Japan Museum of Art in Tokyo where it hangs to this day.