At a star-studded auction in 1990, a painting was sold for the record-breaking price of $82.5 million. That painting, Vincent van Gogh's Portrait of Dr. Gachet
, has seemed to countless admirers to portray our times as "something bright in spite of its inevitable griefs."
This fascinating book reconstructs the painting's journey and becomes a rich story of modernist art and the forces behind the art market. Masterfully evoked are the lives of the thirteen extraordinary people who owned the painting and shaped its history: avant-garde European collectors, pioneering dealers in Paris and Berlin, a brilliant medievalist who acquired it for one of Germany's great museums, and a member of the Nazi elite who sold it after it had been confiscated as a work of "degenerate art." Remarkable and riveting, The Portrait of Dr. Gachet illuminates, in dramatic detail, the dynamics of the art market and of culture in our time.