Art History Lab

Exploring the Most Expensive and Iconic Van Gogh Paintings

Vincent van Gogh is a name that resonates with art lovers worldwide. The Dutch post-impressionist painter, who lived during the late 19th century, is celebrated for his unique interpretations of the world around him.

Van Gogh, who suffered from a variety of mental illnesses throughout his life, turned to art as a way to express himself fully. His works of art continue to astonish and inspire people from all walks of life.

In this article, well delve into some of the most expensive and iconic Van Gogh paintings ever sold.

Most Expensive Van Gogh Paintings

Street Scene in Montmartre (1887)

Street Scene in Montmartre is a rare painting in Van Goghs collection. The painting, which depicts a bustling street scene, was sold in 2020 for $15.4 million.

The artwork, which is an authentic Van Gogh, had been in a private collection since the 1920s. Street Scene in Montmartre is one of the few paintings Van Gogh produced in Montmartre during his two-year stay there.

The painting is typical of Van Gogh’s style, with bold strokes and vibrant colors.

Champs prs des Alpilles (1889)

Champs prs des Alpilles is another work that speaks of Van Gogh’s love for nature. The painting is a landscape of the Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole, where Van Gogh voluntarily admitted himself.

The artwork highlights Van Gogh’s ability to capture the beauty of nature through his art. The painting was sold in 2019 for $51 million and is now in a private collection.

LAllee Des Alyscamps (1888)

LAllee Des Alyscamps is a pair of paintings that depict a tranquil autumn scene. The paintings show a group of people walking down a tree-lined path strewn with falling autumn leaves.

The artwork demonstrates Van Gogh’s excellent skill in creating an impressionistic landscape. The pair of paintings was sold for $66 million in 2015 to a private collector.

Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat (1890)

Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat, also known as Young Peasant Woman with Straw Hat, is a rare painting in Van Gogh’s collection. The artwork, which depicts a young woman standing against a wheat field, is one of the few paintings Van Gogh made during his stay in Auvers-sur-Oise.

The painting, which is now in Steven A. Cohen’s private collection, was sold for a whopping $70.4 million in 2018.

Portrait de lartiste sans barbe (1889)

Portrait de lartiste sans barbe, also known as Self-Portrait without Beard, was the last self-portrait Van Gogh ever made. The painting, which shows Van Gogh looking pensively into the distance, is now in a private collection.

The artwork was sold for $71.5 million at an auction in 1998, making it one of the most expensive Van Gogh paintings ever sold.

Labourer in a Field (1889)

Labourer in a Field, also known as Laboureur dans un champ, is a stunning picture of a man working on a field. The painting, which is an impressionistic representation of a farmer’s life, is one of Van Gogh’s most celebrated works.

The artwork was sold for $81.3 million in 2017 and is now owned by a private collector.

Iconic Van Gogh Paintings

Sunflowers (Arles Series): Vase with fifteen flowers (1888)

Sunflowers is perhaps one of Van Gogh’s most famous series of paintings. The collection comprises of five paintings, and Vase with Fifteen Flowers is one of them.

The painting, which is in the National Gallery in London, was sold for $84.2 million in 1987.

Wheatfield with Cypresses (1889)

Wheatfield with Cypresses is a painting that depicts the view from Van Gogh’s room at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum, where he spent about a year. The artwork, which shows a wheat field with cypress trees in the background, is celebrated for its bold brushwork, vibrant colors, and dramatic composition.

The painting, which is on display at the National Gallery in London, was sold in 1993 for $94.1 million.

Sunflowers (1889)

Sunflowers is another Van Gogh painting that has become iconic. The painting, which is in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, is one of a series of five paintings that Van Gogh completed in August 1888.

The painting, which is beloved for its brilliant coloration and simplicity, is valued at over $100 million.

Irises (1889)

Irises is a painting that shows a garden full of irises. The artwork, which is in the J.

Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, was one of the first paintings Van Gogh made while staying at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum. The painting, which is valued at $111.2 million, stands out for its rich coloration and typical Van Gogh brushstrokes.

Portrait of Joseph Roulin (1889)

Portrait of Joseph Roulin is a painting that shows Van Gogh’s close friend, postman Joseph Roulin. The artwork, which is in a private collection, was sold for $113 million in 2018.

The painting highlights Van Gogh’s talent in capturing his subject’s inner character.

Portrait of Dr Paul Gachet (1890)

Portrait of Dr Paul Gachet is the most expensive Van Gogh painting ever sold. The artwork, which shows Van Gogh’s doctor, was sold for $152 million in 1990.

The painting is celebrated for its unique composition, vivid colors, and striking brushstrokes.


In conclusion, Vincent van Gogh’s contribution to the art world remains unparalleled. His works continue to evoke wonder and awe over 100 years after he painted them.

From the most expensive to the most iconic Van Gogh paintings, his artwork tells a story of talent, dedication, and passion for art. While his life may have been turbulent, his artwork remains as a legacy for generations to come.

Vincent van Gogh is one of the most famous artists in the world, known for his beautiful and unique paintings. His work is a reflection of his life, which was filled with intense emotions, struggles with mental health, and a deep spiritual and artistic passion.

Difference Between Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

Van Gogh’s art falls under the Post-Impressionist movement, which was an extension of the Impressionist movement. Impressionism and Post-Impressionism differ in their approach to modernity and color depiction.

Impressionists were preoccupied with capturing the essence of light and color in their paintings and were keen on recording the fleeting moment. On the other hand, Post-Impressionists embraced more expressive brushstrokes and abstractions that conveyed a deeper emotional experience.

Post-Impressionists were also more interested in the symbolic and spiritual aspects of art.

Most Expensive Painting in the World

While Van Gogh’s paintings command high prices, the most expensive painting in the world is the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the early 16th century. The painting, which is in the Louvre Museum in Paris, has been valued at approximately $860 million.

Relationship Between Gauguin and Van Gogh

Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin were close friends and fellow artists. They met in 1888 in Arles and spent several months together, sharing a house and their artistic ideas.

However, their relationship soured, culminating in an incident where Van Gogh famously cut off a part of his ear. There are different theories about what led to Van Gogh’s act, but most agree that mental illness, depression, and isolation played a significant role.

Number of Paintings Van Gogh Created

Van Gogh’s output of paintings is impressive, given his short life. He is estimated to have created around 900 paintings, which comprise a mix of portraits, landscapes, and self-portraits.

Van Gogh used his artwork as a way to express his emotions and document his surroundings.

Mediums Used by Van Gogh

Van Gogh is most well-known for his oil paintings, which he used to develop his highly recognized style. However, he also worked with watercolor, drawing, etching, lithography, and sketches.

These various mediums allowed Van Gogh to experiment and broaden his artistic range. Van Gogh’s Artistic Influences

Van Gogh’s art was influenced by many factors, including his environment, asceticism, and spirituality.

He was also inspired by Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, which he incorporated into his unique style. Van Gogh’s personal struggles with depression and isolation also influenced his artwork, leading to some of his most famous and emotional paintings.

In conclusion, Vincent van Gogh’s life and artwork continue to inspire and influence artists and art lovers worldwide. His legacy is a testament to the power of art as a means of expression and reflection of life.

Whether it’s his most expensive paintings or iconic works, Van Gogh’s art speaks to the human experience and has left an indelible mark on the world. In summary, Vincent van Gogh remains one of the most significant artists of all time.

His remarkable body of work highlights his unique ability to capture nature and the human experience in bold, colorful strokes. From the most expensive to the iconic, his paintings continue to inspire and capture the imagination of art enthusiasts worldwide.

Additionally, this article sheds some light on the differences between Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, the mediums Van Gogh used, the number of paintings he created, and his artistic influences. Through his art, Van Gogh showed how creativity can help us express our deepest thoughts and emotions.

His legacy is a testament to the power of art to enrich our lives and leave a lasting impact that continues to resonate with us today.

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