Priceless for nothing. Cultural treasures sold for a penny
How should Paradise Lost Milton? Who earned the novels of Stendhal? What van Gogh painting have corrected his poor financial condition? Aify recalls the cultural treasures that were sold for a penny, and brought a fortune.
April 27, 1667 impoverished and long blind English poet John Milton for just £ 10 sold his greatest work Paradise Lost.
Famous poem about Adam, the author has conceived in his youth, but he considered himself Mature enough and wise enough to take up writing religious epic. After years of thought and labour (during the work on “Paradise Lost” Milton has studied more than a thousand works) this manuscript has summed up the final line of his life, but was unable to improve the poor financial position.
Aify recalls 5 cultural treasures that were sold for a penny.
Edgar Allan PoE “The Raven”
“The Raven” Edgar Allan PoE is today considered one of the most famous English poems, however, the author was able to sell it to publishers only the second attempt for only $9.
In 1845 the rights to publish famous stanzas acquired the owner American Review George hooker Colton, which included a poem in the February issue of the magazine. Oddly enough “the Raven” was preceded by a review of one of the most highly paid magazine writers of the time of Nathaniel Parker, who praised the work: “In our opinion it represents the only example of a “fleeting poetry”, known to American literature; and fineness of conception, a marvelous prosody, a strikingly high flight of fancy and their “evil charm” has nothing equal in English poetry.”
Portrait of Edgar Allan PoE in the house of the writer
Parker is not wrong, even 100 years later, in 2009, one of the rare copies of the first book On the famous poem was sold at auction by Christie’s for a record $662 500. And the author of “the Raven”, the ancestor detective and psychological prose, is still considered one of the most famous American writers.
Paul Gauguin “When’s the wedding?”
A large part of the life of the famous French painter Paul Gauguin lived in poverty. His paintings called “fabrications of the patient’s brain, a mockery of Art and Nature”, and the journalists wrote: “If you want to amuse your children, send them to the exhibition Gauguin”.
Widely known story about a failed exhibition of paintings of the impressionist, which was held in Paris on 8 February 1895. Of the entire collection of canvases painted by the artist in Tahiti, then managed to sell only nine, and to gain for them a ridiculous amount, which was only enough to pay the auctioneer. However, in 2015 the canvas of Gauguin’s “When’s the wedding?” from the same series was auctioned for a record $300 million, becoming the most expensive sold a work of art in the world.
Quand te maries-tu?
By: Paul Gauguin pic.twitter.com/uv9vdFUMQB
— Jiji (@jiji_20) December 24, 2015
The artist himself died in poverty. “I don’t have even a piece of bread to restore power. Support myself with water, sometimes fruit guava and mango, which are now ripe, but still fresh-water shrimp,” wrote Gauguin.
Stendhal “Red and black”
Henri Marie beyle, who wrote under the pseudonym Stendhal, is considered one of the most prominent French writers. Especially highly literary critics appreciate his novel “Red and black”, in which a vain protagonist Julien Sorel concludes: “In our age money is everything.”
However, the author was not able to earn their literary work, and in the period of writing the novel “Red and black” was on the verge of suicide: drew guns in the margins of his manuscripts and wrote many wills. Stendhal miraculously managed to publish “Red and black”, because all his numerous works were either unnoticed or are condemned by society because of the shocking by the standards of the manners of the heroes (in his books sin all the young maidens, mothers of families, and even the abbots).
Died #OTD in 1842: Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle), novelist. pic.twitter.com/wgvI41Onhm
— Richard Shepherd ? (@rshepherd1964) March 23, 2016
Just a few years after the death of Stendhal became one of the greatest masters of the European novel. And the executor of the writer Romain Colombe has taken a complete reprint of the works of the famous French, including “Red and black”, which made a fortune.
Vincent van Gogh “Red vineyards at Arles”
There is a legend that the “Red vineyard at Arles” was the only painting by van Gogh, he was able to sell.
‘De rode wijngaard’ was het enige schilderij dat Vincent van Gogh leven tijdens zijn verkocht. Voor 400 Francs. pic.twitter.com/hZHcFAwU2E
— Geschiedenis Beleven (@Geschiedenis_B) March 30, 2014
“Red vineyard at Arles”
In fact, during the artist’s life for the modest money spent several of his works, the painting “Red vineyard at Arles” was the first in which the famous impressionist helped 350 francs. A small amount that the great Netherlander was an accomplishment, paid by the Belgian artist Anna Bosch immediately after the exhibition of 1890. The painting was exhibited at the exposition of the symbolists in Brussels, where he attracted worldwide attention with its colour and disturbing emotional state.
The researchers suggest that if not for the fatal shot himself in the chest in 1890, van Gogh very soon would be rich. And the legend of the “unrecognized genius” was only a proven way for dealers to attract attention to the late artist and enhance the market potential of his paintings.
Franz Schubert Swan song
Like van Gogh, the composer Schubert lived a short life and left behind many cultural treasures. However, unlike the artist, during his lifetime was a huge success in composing and performing.
However, the last years of Schubert’s life was difficult: by nature he knew how to get favors from the influential Viennese music figures, and had to pester the publishing houses that either didn’t want to buy his major works, or paying a negligible amount.
After the death of Schubert’s Viennese publisher Tobias Haslinger bought his brother’s manuscript of the composer’s songs on poems Rellstab and published a book titled “Swan song” — in accordance with the legend that says that the Swan sings his song before his death. A collection of 14 works, including “Winter way”, “Serenade” and “the Beautiful Miller’s wife” still has not lost popularity and is one of the most famous pieces of classical music.