In 1880, at the age of 27, Vincent finally turned to art. Inspired by the Impressionism and Post-Impressionism movements of the 19th Century and heavily influenced by artists of the time such as Monet, Pissarro, Bernard and Gauguin, Van Gogh appeared to have finally found his calling. The urgency and intensity of his work is imbued in many of his paintings.
Completely self-taught, Van Gogh was one of the most prolific artists of his time. In only ten years, he produced more than 2,000 works of art, consisting of around 930 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. Despite this great volume of work, The Red Vineyard is the only piece known to have sold during his lifetime. Anna Boch, a prolific collector of Impressionist paintings, purchased it during the Brussels Art Expo in 1890. She paid 400 francs, the equivalent of US $1,900 today.
Van Gogh’s artworks now sell for millions of dollars at auctions and private sales around the world. Portrait of Doctor Gachet brought one of the highest prices ever paid for a painting. Ensuring it remained in private hands, Siegfried Kramarsky, a German born New York philanthropist and owner of the Lisser & Rosenkrantz Bank, sold it to Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito on 15 May 1990 for US $82.5 million.