Vincent van Gogh letter to auction for $300,000 in New York

A letter written by Vincent van Gogh just months before his death is to be auctioned on December 18 in New York.

Vincent van Gogh handwritten letter auction
Van Gogh suffered from epilepsy and bipolar disorder, both worsened by drinking absinthe

The letter forms just a fragment of the Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector, which includes more than 3,000 items and will be sold across the next two years. One of the many highlights of the first part, the Van Gogh piece will sell with a $200,000-300,000 estimate.

Prior to the sale, the letter will be exhibited at the Gagosian Gallery in New York from December 3-9.

Also featuring in the auction is a John Lennon signed letter that was sent to Eric Clapton in the hope of forming a super group.

Van Gogh's handwritten missive was sent to his close friends Joseph and Marie Ginoux, who were the owners of the Cafe de la Gare in Arles, where the artist had lived for a short while. Written in 1890 - just seven months prior to his death - the letter sees Van Gogh candidly discussing his mental and physical health, stating: "Disease exists to remind us we are not made of wood..."

Van Gogh's mental illness has been widely publicised and even romanticised since his death. He suffered from epilepsy, which caused violent seizures, and also what would now be known as bipolar disorder. Spurred by a new bout of illness, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest on July 27, 1890 - his brother, Theo, reported his last words as "the sadness will last forever".

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a Claude Monet handwritten letter, as well as another example from Pierre-Auguste Renoir.


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