Van Gogh was well aware of the tulip bubble that took place 216 years before he was born. Would he compare bitcoin with a bubble? If Vincent had known about the stock-to-flow model that explains scarcity (S2F = existing stock / flow of yearly production), he would have understood bitcoin is nothing like the tulip mania.

With its fixed supply (there will only be a maximum of 21 million bitcoin, ever) and its halving of production speed (mining) every four years, Van Gogh would have figured out bitcoin's deflationary nature. Try that with tulips. So yes Vincent and his brother Theo would probably have been bitcoiners!

Today 136 years ago, on 17 August 1885,

Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo van Gogh from Nuenen:

"And I wish you were, or would become, a painter. I put it bluntly, more strongly than before, because I believe so firmly that the large-scale art trade is, in many respects, too much like tulip mania.”

Years before on 6 December 1883, Vincent already referred to the rapid buying and selling of tulip bulbs in 1636-1637, not for the sake of the goods but solely for profit.

In the same letter Van Gogh wrote:

"In a relatively short space of time, everything that is the art trade developed in rapport with art itself. But it became all too much a sort of bankers’ speculation and it still is — I do not say entirely — I simply say much too much. Why, in so far as it’s a bubble company, shouldn’t it go the same way as, for instance, the tulip trade?”

If only Vincent knew how much his paintings are worth these days..

What about the stock to flow of Van Gogh paintings?

Nearly 900 Van Gogh paintings done between 1880 and 1890 can be counted as existing stock. Only once in a few years a new Van Gogh painting is discovered (or lost), determining its flow.

Van Gogh’s 'The Red Vineyard' sold for 400 francs (about 70 USD) in 1890. His ‘Portrait of Dr Gachet' was auctioned for 86 million USD exactly 100 hundred years later in 1990. No wonder!

For proper data analysis we could ask PlanB to look into it. Will the price of bitcoin as well as Van Gogh paintings only go up (Laura)? Time will tell..

Bulb Fields
The Hague, 1883
Oil on canvas on wood
48,9 cm × 66 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

You may also like to read:
Would Vincent van Gogh have been a bitcoiner?
Van Gogh's 'Bulb Fields'.

PlanB stock-to-flow Cross Asset s2fx model 5 October 2021
PlanB stock-to-flow Cross Asset s2fx model 5 October 2021

hand-painted reproduction in oil on canvas of Portrait of Dr gachet
Our hand-painted reproduction in oil on canvas of ‘Portrait of Dr Gachet'. The original Van Gogh painting was auctioned for 86 million USD.

Your daily dose of Van Gogh.

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