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    Van Gogh's Chair Painting from "Lust for Life." Vincent Minnelli's masterpiece Lust for Life almost didn't get made. MGM sat on the rights to Irving Stone's book of the same name for close to ten years, but after a ground-breaking exhibition of Van Gogh's work in 1955, the studio quickly picked up on the mounting public interest and was left with a little less than nine months to make the film. This posed a great problem for Minnelli as the rights to create reproductions of the vast amount of Van Gogh's pieces had to be quickly worked out with the museums and collectors owning the works. The majority were then reproduced as large-format transparencies, back-lit for scenes in which they appeared. This piece, however, is one of the few screen-used hand-painted images from the film. Van Gogh's iconic chair and pipe with his trademark heavy impasto is so closely replicated it is as if you are standing in front of the actual 1888 painting (the real one is housed in the National Gallery, by the way). The result of such painstaking work to replicate the paintings for the film transformed them from simple props to characters themselves, integral to the film's success, and earned Lust for Life an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction-Set Direction. The painting on canvas is framed to an overall size of 30" x 38" and is in Very Fine condition with a few minor areas of chipped paint and signs of handling to the frame. Interestingly, there is an MGM stamp en verso reading: "Warning This is not an original oil painting by Van Gogh but only a copy made by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios for its motion picture purposes."

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    6th-7th Saturday-Sunday
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