Book Review: 'Portrait of Dr. Gachet: The Story of a Van Gogh Masterpiece'
Portrait of Dr. Gachet: The Story of a Van Gogh Masterpiece
Vincent van Gogh’s portrait of Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet, painted over just a few days back in 1890, most recently sold in 1990 for $82.5 million, decimating auction records at the time. As art historian-reporter Saltzman traces the century-long biography of the canvas through the politics, history, and economics that informed its movements, she details the lives of individuals who owned or brokered the painting. From little-known Alice Ruben, a Danish Jew and avid lover of the avant-garde who paid $58 for the work in 1897, to infamous Nazi official Hermann Göring, who sold the painting for $53,000 in 1938, these diverse background figures turn out to be a compelling lens for viewing the usually esoteric art world. B+