Cafe Gets a Van Gogh…for an Hour

Image via: Picnic Cafe

A painting by Vincent van Gogh worth millions has been shown in a cafe in Reading, England. Houses at Auvers II (c. 1890) was hung in the Picnic Cafe for about one hour as part of the Open for Art festival.

The painting’s owner, Mark Lawrence who inherited the artwork from his grandfather told the BBC that it had been Van Gogh’s wish to see his work hung in a cafe. He said, “I feel a huge amount of pride, not for myself, more for Van Gogh. I know it’s something that he really wanted to do before he died.”

The vibrant painting delighted patrons at the local cafe. Forty-four-year-old Caroline Streathfield-Chalk told the BBC “It’s amazing to see it outside a gallery in an everyday space that people go to.”

Houses at Auvers II, an oil painting on canvas, was painted by Van Gogh in the last year of his life and had been in storage for the past 30 years. Lawrence inherited the work as a part of the collection his family has been accumulating for 200 years.

Other artists in the collection include Rembrandt, Picasso, Degas, Cézanne, Henry Moore, and Dalí. Two years ago he started a gallery and is currently searching for a suitable venue in Reading to fulfill his grandfather’s wish to have the collection displayed as a whole.

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