Tuesday 17th June 2014

Vincent van Gogh, probably the most well known and popular artist in the world.  His works today sell for many millions of dollars but when he died in 1890 they were worthless.  The Raiders of The Lost Art team began their search where the lives of Vincent and his brother Theo end, and into the untold story and much overlooked role of Van Gogh’s sister-in-law Johanna Bonger. 

Johanna Bonger almost singlehandedly brought Van Gogh to that attention of the world, by the calculated lending of his works to avant-garde exhibitions of the time, the publication of the letters written between Vincent and his brother Theo and the pivotal sale of the 15 Sunflowers to the National Gallery in London.

The search took the team to The Netherlands to meet Hans Luijten; expert and Curator at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, who gave a remarkable insight into the famous Van Gogh letters and the life of Joanna. Next stop was to the Kröller-Müller Museum, to meet Drs Liz Kreijn who shed light onto Helene Kröller-Müller, the wealthy collector who seemed to make it her life’s work to collect as many Van Gogh masterpieces that she could possibly afford.

Guiding us through our story are leading experts in London, including Christopher Riopelle curator at the National Gallery London, Martin Bailey, author of The Sunflowers are Mine, Martin Gayford, author of The Yellow House, Writer and Art Critic Charles Darwent and Art Historian Calandra Caldecott.

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