Paul Gauguin made the headlines in March this year when a woman, Susan Burns, attacked an $80 million Gauguin painting. While not doubting the emotional and psychological power of Gauguin artwork, it is also worthwhile to note the emotional, psychological and criminal history of Ms Burns. According to the Washington Post’s Dan Zak, Ms Burns was banned from a department store in Arlington after she assaulted an employee in 2002. In 2005 Burns was convicted of assault and battery on an officer and served 2.5 years in prison after she threw a cup of coffee on a bartender and assaulted a detective who responded (while yelling obscenities). Earlier, in October 2000, she was also convicted of assaulting a police officer and served just over a year in prison. We could go on, but we think you get the general idea…

Gauguin has more recently made the news in April 2011 with some rare offerings of his early work through New Orleans based company Rau Antiques, the USA’s largest antiques and fine arts dealer. The most noted oil painting is a still life titled Flowers in a Vase with a Musical Score completed sometime between 1874-1876. The work is significant because it was completed when painting was still a hobby for Gauguin. The oil on canvas features a bright blue vase filled with white and pastel flowers – the whole arrangement sits upon sheets of music, creating a peaceful, soft and somewhat melancholic mood. Stylistically, the painting is considered one of Gauguin’s first forays into the Impressionist technique. It is well known that Camille Pissarro and Edgar Degas were early influences on Gauguin, with the pair urging him to enter a painting to the Paris Salon in 1876 and the 1879 Impressionist Exhibition. For a cool $4.8 million the painting could be yours! Also on offer is a rare Gauguin chalk and charcoal sketch of his daughter Aline, completed about 1884. The work is named after his daughter and depicts a side profile of the young girl. The sketch is, in all honesty, quite unremarkable and would help complete a wealthy collector’s work of Gauguin. At $495,000, it could be a worthwhile investment for an astute buyer.

Nothing beats owning an original, except for the simple fact that originals are often worth your house, its kitchen sink and a fair chunk of the U.S. subprime mortgage market. You can own a reproduction Gauguin painting that is so precise Gauguin himself might look twice before realising it wasn’t painted by his own hand. We have hundreds upon hundreds of paintings, so have a look and we guarantee something will pique your interest.