Van Gogh Painting Sells for Record-Breaking $117.2 Million

On November 9th, Vincent van Gogh’s Verger avec cypres (1888) sold for $117.2 million at Christie’s New York. This impressive price highlights both the current strength of the Van Gogh market and the art market bubble of the late 1980s, when the Impressionist and modern art market collapsed after years of excessive buying.

The previous record for the artist was set in 1990, when Portrait of Doctor Gachet sold for $\(82.5 million to Japanese buyer Ryoei Saito. At the time, this was the most expensive painting ever sold at auction and the Van Gogh market reached a volume of \)110.7 million in 1990. However, just four years later in 1994, the volume for Van Gogh paintings at auction was zero.

Now, after years of growth, the record for the artist has been broken with the sale of Verger avec cypres. The painting was privately acquired by Paul Allen from collectors Charles Shipman and Joan Whitney Payson in June 1998. This rare landscape has now officially reset the market for Van Gogh.