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I have heard many artists (painters) gave their paints for neighbors, friends or just someone who know each other.
Because many of them were poor or not famous at those time.
Their work become popular after their death or in their later life.
I now a story of a Japanese painter, Kaita Murayama (1896-1919).
He was really poor in his young age right after he graduated high school.
He lived in a small room with very cheap rent.
His landlord invited him for dinners all the time, because he did not have any money at that time.
Thereafter he moved out the room, and he left a his painting for the landlord as gratitude.
Years years later, offspring of the landlord came to a TV show.
The TV show appraise every thing, such as old toys, calligraphies and paintings.
And the appraisers priced the his painting, "auction start at 30,000,000 yen (about $375,000), final price should be over 100,000,000 yen (about $1,250,000)".
He died by Spanish flu in 1919, that was about 80 years before this TV show.
And the offspring of the landlord said, "we don't sell this, because this picture is treasure of my family".