Museum threatened with lawsuit over Van Gogh sketchbook

Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum is facing legal action after it dismissed a sketchbook allegedly belonging to the Dutch artist as a fake.

The discovery of the album of 65 drawings purported to be by Van Gogh was made in 2013 by art historian Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov who believes it was used by the artist on his travels in the south of France. When the drawings were unveiled at a press conference in Paris in November this year the Van Gogh Museum quickly released a statement entitled “Found Sketchbook With Drawings Is Not By Van Gogh, According to Van Gogh Museum”. Now Le Seuil, the publishing house behind Welsh-Ovcharov’s new book on the drawings “Vincent Van Gogh, the Fog of Arles: the Rediscovered Sketchbook”, has hit back at the museum by threatening to initiate a lawsuit. Continue reading

Very rare Van Gogh painting to go up for sale

newly rediscovered and ‘very rare‘ oil painting by beloved Dutch Post-Impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh will go on sale at the TEFAF art fair in New York City this October for $US2.4 million (£1.97 million).

Held in a private French collection since 1970, ‘View of the New church and old houses in the Hague’ (1883) was purchased by art dealer Bob Albricht this summer for an undisclosed sum. The painting went off the radar for some 50 years after the French collector passed it on to his descendants. Only a handful of art connoisseurs were aware that it even existed.

Van Gogh spent time in The Hague, Netherlands between 1883-1885 where he painted the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) and the surrounding houses. Measuring just 35.5 x 26cm, ‘View of the New church’ is a compact work but is considered typical of the artist’s early oeuvre and the colour palette he used at the time.

According to Albricht, the discovery of such a work in a private collection is virtually unprecedented. “The chance that you encounter such a painting is nil“, he said. The rediscovery of ‘View of the New church’ follows news of the recent recovery of two paintings by Van Gogh, which were stolen from an Amsterdam museum in 2002.

Albricht’s art gallery, Kunstgalerij Albricht, will be offering the rediscovered Van Gogh for sale at the TEFAF art fair, which runs from 22-26 October 2016.

Italian police recover two stolen Van Gogh paintings

Two paintings by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh stolen from an Amsterdam museum over a decade ago have been recovered in seaside town in Italy.

‘Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church’ (1884) and ‘View of the Sea at Scheveningen’ (1882) are collectively valued at £77 million. They are examples of Van Gogh’s early work with the Scheveningen piece one of just two Dutch seascapes ever made by the artist. In December 2002, thieves used a ladder to climb to the roof of the Van Gogh Museum and broke in undetected by cameras. Octave ‘The Monkey’ Durham and his accomplice Henk Bieslijn removed the works from the walls of the main exhibition hall in minutes and escaped the scene by sliding down a rope. The notorious heist made the FBI’s list of “top 10” art crimes and baffled experts because security guards had been on patrol at the time of the raid. In 2004 the art thieves were convicted of theft after police discovered their DNA at the scene of the crime but the artworks were never found. Continue reading

US$137 million worth of art thought to have been purchased with misappropriated funds

A Malaysian financier purchased multimillionaire dollar art works including two paintings by Claude Monet using funds stolen from a government investment fund, artnet news reports.

According to documents released by the US Department of Justice, hundreds of millions of dollars were transferred from Jho Low’s 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund to a personal account named “Tanore”. Continue reading