In 1990, the Portrait of Dr Gachet by Van Gogh was auctioned at Christie’s for the record figure of eighty-two and a half million dollars. It was purchased by Japanese millionaire Ryoei Saito.
Irked by the Japanese Government regarding the taxes they claimed he should pay for his painting, Saito announced at a world press conference that the Van Gogh would disappear with him when he died.
Since his death in 1996, the painting completely vanished from the art world. A mystery that led rivers of ink to flow and gave rise to all sorts of speculation.
Matilde Asensi fictionalizes the search for it and offers answers to many of the mysteries surrounding the painting’s disappearance.
From the Père Tanguy art gallery in Paris, and in the capable hands of Japanese Ichiro Koga, a diverse group of five people —who have never met before— set out on an adventure that will change their lives.
Travelling through Japan, nurse Odette, gallery owner Hubert, urban artist Oliver, painter and on-line art gallerist Gabriella, and handyman John overcome dangers and unravel enigmas which guide them in their search for the painting. On their way, they develop invisible bonds that lead them to success or failure.
A novel where traditional Japanese culture is entwined with impressionist painting, ukiyo-e engravings, and urban art; where colours are as powerful as its characters, and where the extraordinary presence of blossoming cherry trees, sakura, emerges as an allegory of life’s beauty and brevity.