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Vincent van Gogh. The Olive Trees. Saint Rémy, June-July 1889

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The Olive Trees

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)

Saint Rémy, June-July 1889
Oil on canvas
28 5/8 x 36" (72.6 x 91.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Mrs. John Hay Whitney Bequest
MoMA Number:

Collection work meeting criteria specified in Introduction.

Theo van Gogh (1857–1891), Paris, 1889 [1]; by inheritance to Johanna van Gogh-Bonger (1862-1925), Amsterdam, 1891 [2]; sold to Karl Ernst Osthaus (1874–1921), Hagen, 1906 (on loan to the Folkwang Museum, Hagen) [3]. Galerie D. Komter, Amsterdam, by 1924 [4]; to S.[alomon] van Deventer (1888-1972), Wassenaar, The Netherlands, by 1928 [5]; [sold to unknown German buyer, June 1940] [6]. Nathan Katz (1893-1949), Basel, Switzerland [7]; on consignment to Knoedler Gallery, New York, 1947 [8]; sold to John Hay Whitney (1904-1982) and Betsey Cushing Whitney (1908-1998), New York, April 1947 [9]; by inheritance to Betsey Cushing Whitney, New York, 1982; acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York 1998 (Mrs. John Hay Whitney Bequest).
[1] Sent by the artist to his brother Theo in Paris, on July 15, 1889, together with Starry Night. See van Gogh, Verzamelde Brieven, vol. 3, Amsterdam: Wereldbibliotheek, 1953, pp. 463-464, qtd. in John Rewald, ed., The John Hay Whitney Collection, exh. cat.: Washington, The National Gallery of Art, 1983 (no. 24).
[2] Per Chris Stolwijk and Han Veenenbos, eds., "Works by Vincent van Gogh sold from the collection," The Account Book of Theo van Gogh and Jo van Gogh-Bonger, Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum, 2002, p. 186 (F712 JH1740).
[3] The painting was among a group of works owned by Johanna van Gogh-Bongher Osthaus selected from the van Gogh retrospective at the Stedelijk Museum (July-August 1905) [no. 206: Rotsen met olijven op de voorgrond]. See Walter Feilchenfeldt, "Karl Ernst Osthaus und die Werke van Goghs," 'Das schönste Museum der Welt,' Sammlung Folkwang bis 1933, Hartwig Fischer, ed., exh. cat. Essen: Folkwang Museum, 2010, pp. 173-177.
[4] Per J. B. de la Faille, L’oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh: Catalogue raisonné, Paris and Brussels: G. van Oest, 1928 (no. 712); and Abraham M. Hammacher et al., eds., J. B. de la Faille, The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings, Amsterdam: Meulenhoff International/Reynal & Co., 1970), no. 712, repr. p. 277. See Tentoonstelling Collectie Kunsthandel D. Komter, Amsterdam, Firma A. Mak, Amsterdam, September 1-22, 1924 (no. 124: Landschap. Olijfboomen in een dal).
[5] Ibid. The painting's present location is given as "S. van Deventer" in de la Faille 1928. It was on loan from van Deventer to the exhibitions Vincent van Gogh, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 4, 1935-January 5, 1936 (no. 60: Olive Trees and Mountains); and Vincent van Gogh, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, January 20-February 2, 1937 (no. 45).
[6] "Aangifte formulier," signed by W. Auping, Otterlo, November 4, 1945, SNK Archives 2.08.42, invnr. 726, National Archives, The Hague, The Netherlands; "Intern Aangifte formulier," January 11, 1946, SNK Archives 2.08.42, invnr. 751, National Archives, The Hague, The Netherlands.
[7] Information provided to MoMA by Knoedler Galleries, New York, April 1998. Nathan Katz was one of the major organizers behind the benefit exhibition for the Hollandhilfe Basel 25 Werke von Vincent van Gogh, Galerie M.[arguerite] Schulthess, Basel, June 23-August 19, 1945, in which the painting was included (no. 14: Les oliviers).
[8] Information provided to MoMA by Knoedler Galleries, New York, April 1998.
[9] Information provided to MoMA by Knoedler Galleries, New York, April 1998.

Landschap. Olijfboomen in een dal
Rotsen met olijven op de voorgrond
Olive Trees in a Mountain Landscape, 16 June 1889
Olive Trees: Blue Sky with Large White Cloud
[Les Oliviers]

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