Vincent Van Gogh’s The Red Vineyard (1888) – Facts, Details & Reproduction

The Red Vineyard by Vincent Van Gogh

Listed among Van Gogh’s most groundbreaking works is The Red Vineyard Near Arles. It was painted on a nice day in November in the year 1888. Two years later, he exhibited this piece, among a few others in an annual art show in Brussels called Les XX. As much as it is beautiful, what makes this painting special lies in the facts and historical events that surround it, so make sure to continue reading.

A dramatic landscape of red, yellow and orange hues are grazed with the presence of vineyard workers in dark blue clothing, going about their business as usual while the sun is shining and giving everything around it that radiant glow. This color palette of yellows, reds and blues is commonly seen in the late painter’s best paintings.

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5 Facts About Van Gogh’s The Red Vineyard Near Arles

  • What makes this piece very special is that it is believed to be the only recorded painting Van Gogh sold in his entire lifetime. He sold it in the exhibition in Brussels approximately 2 years after he painted it. Van Gogh started painting at 27 years old and died 10 years later. As tragic as it is that he only sold one of his own works during his lifetime, it is remarkable how valuable all his works have become to the world after his death.
  • The buyer was Anna Boch, the sister of Eugene Boch, Van Gogh’s close friend and fellow impressionist painter. Anna was an impressionist painter herself, and bought this stunning still life painting for 400 francs (around $2000 USD). A very small price compared to how much his best paintings are worth now.
  • A leading Van Gogh scholar and author of “Vincent Van Gogh, an Authoritative and Comprehensive Biography of Van Gogh.” Marc Edo Tralbaut challenges the rumor that Van Gogh only sold this painting while alive. He said that Vincent’s brother Theo, an art dealer by profession, sold one of Van Gogh’s self portraits a year before he sold The Red Vineyard Near Arles. This theory came from an excerpt of a letter Theo wrote to some art dealers stating: “We have the honour to inform you that we have sent you the two pictures you have bought and duly paid for: a landscape by Camille Corot … a self-portrait by V. Van Gogh.” Although, many question if the sale ever went through, as there were some inconsistencies in the timelines and there was no record of it ever being mentioned again.
  • Van Gogh painted this piece by memory. He lived in Arles for a short couple of years before he passed away. And according to the timelines, this was about the same time as when his mentor Paul Gauguin was living with him in Arles, South of France.
  • This piece was painted on a Sunday. Or so it said so in one of Van Gogh’s letters to his younger brother, Theo: “working on a vineyard, all purple and yellow…But if only you’d been with us on Sunday! We saw a red vineyard, completely red like red wine. In the distance it became yellow, and then a green sky with a sun, fields violet and sparkling yellow here and thereafter the rain in which the setting sun was reflected.”

How much is it worth and where is it now?

Original buyer Anna Boch sold The Red Vineyard in 1906m for 10,000 francs, and it was sold again that same year to a Russian textile businessman, Sergei Shchukin. Today this historic painting is on display at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.

A painting once sold for $2000 is now worth at least $80-90 million.