There were four of them in all. In 1888, Vincent van Gogh painted a series of four paintings depicting his beloved Provencal sunflowers. Two remain on display in London and Munich. The other two, however, have faded into history and have become enigmas of sorts. Until, Martin Bailey decided to do some digging.
Bailey, a self styled expert on Van Gogh’s work and the author of a new book entitled, The Sunflowers Are Mine, took his passion for the missing paintings and began to search the world. One of the missing paintings apparently disappeared into the art underground in 1948 while the other was supposedly in Japan and destroyed during America’s World War Two attack on Japan.
He has found one still in Van Gogh’s original frame. Van Gogh had painted the original frame so that it would somehow compliment the colors in the painting. He found the painting stashed in a far obscure corner in a museum in Japan. It was buried amidst some color splashed Cezanne’s. The other he discovered in the hands of a private collector in the 1990’s having tracked the paper trial from the end of World War Two when it disappeared after being shown at a gallery in Ohio.
Van Gogh had made three copies of the paintings which he originally created for his friend Paul Gauguin to hang in his home. Bailey estimates the paintings to be worth over one hundred million dollars, especially the one currently hanging in London’s National Gallery.
For more information, visit The Guardian.