Not many people would be willing to spend millions of dollars on a painting, even if it was created by Vincent van Gogh.
But a Chinese mogul opted to spend nearly $62 million dollars in a bid to make the unique artwork his own.
The Vincent van Gogh painting in question called “Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies”.
The painting is very much a van Gogh, as he had a very distinctive style.
The masterpiece was created in 1890, in the home of his physician Dr. Paul Gache.
It also has the distinction of being created weeks before Vincent van Gogh’s untimely death. Understandably, this fact increased its value tremendously.
The van Gogh painting was one of the key items put up for auction by Sotheby’s in New York. Prior to the event, the artwork was said to be worth between 30 to $50 million.
Rare Vincent van Gogh painting is expected to fetch up to $50 million at auction http://t.co/ozeSkPghaY pic.twitter.com/0NO2emTLRk
— HuffPostArts&Culture (@HuffPostArts) November 5, 2014
Amazingly, the van Gogh painting went for almost $12 million more than it was initially valued.
Wang Zhongjun, one of the richest men in China, won the bidding war for the prized artwork with a bid of $61.8 million.
He is the chairman of the influential Huayi Brothers film studio.
$61.8 million van Gogh purchase could be highest paid by Chinese collector of Western art http://t.co/WJsz3Bbhes pic.twitter.com/v6cPQf2Scr
— WSJ Asia (@WSJAsia) November 9, 2014
Wang Zhongjun’s move to buy the van Gogh for more than the valued price could be the most spent by a Chinese collector of Western work. However, his bid is NOT the most ever spent on a Vincent van Gogh painting.
As of now, the record bid for a van Gogh painting is $82.5 million.
Although the wealthy businessman was no doubt pleased with his purchase, he had to endure quite a bit of criticism from the public.
Certain Chinese citizens do not approve of such lavish spending, even going so far as to call it unpatriotic.
Wang Zhongjun was criticized as a “mad man” and some have even wondered whether or not this is a sensible use of the money invested in his company.
Still, the reaction over the van Gogh purchase is nothing compared to the controversy generated by a wealthy art collector named Liu Yiqian.
Liu Yiqian not only spent an estimated $36 million on a rare Ming Dynasty wine cup, he then decided to drink from of it:
The perceived desecration of a valuable artifact earned him quite a lot of backlash in China.