AMSTERDAM (AP) – A drawing newly attributed to Vincent van Gogh that has never been publicly exhibited before is on display at the Amsterdam museum named after the Dutch master.
The ‘new’ Van Gogh, ‘Study for’ Worn Out ‘, from November 1882, is part of a private Dutch collection and was known only to a handful of people, including a few from the Van Gogh Museum.
The owner, who remains anonymous, has asked the museum to determine whether the unsigned drawing is by Van Gogh.
From the style to the materials used – a thick carpenter’s pencil and coarse watercolor paper – it conforms to Van Gogh‘s drawings in The Hague, lead researcher Teio Meedendorp said Thursday.
There are even traces of damage to the back that connects it to how Van Gogh used wads of starch to attach sheets of paper to drawing boards.
“It is quite rare that a new work is attributed to Van Gogh,” museum director Emilie Gordenker said in a statement. “We are proud to be able to share this first drawing and its story with our visitors. “
This comes from a time in the artist’s career where he was working to improve his skills as a character and portrait painter by drawing them. Again and again.
The museum already has the almost identical design, “Worn Out”.
“It was pretty clear that they are related,” Meedendorp said.
The study was on loan to the museum and will be on display from Friday to January 2.
It shows an elderly, bald man seated, leaning forward, in a wooden chair, his bald head in his hands. Even the mannequin’s pants appear to conform to the English title – a patch is clearly visible on the right leg.
A far cry from the vibrant oil paintings of sunflower vases and French landscapes that ultimately made the tormented Van Gogh – after his death in 1890 – one of the world’s most famous artists, whose works won awards. astronomical prices at auction.
Instead, it illustrates how, as a young artist, plying his trade in The Hague in 1882, Van Gogh had to face an uncomfortable truth.
“He discovered he didn’t have the ability to paint people. So he was already drawing them, but he loved painting, ”Meedendorp said. “So in order to be able to paint people too, he went back to the drawing board.”
Van Gogh, who depended on his brother Theo’s generosity throughout his life, gave the drawings an English title in an attempt to make himself known a bit and maybe even land a job in an illustrated magazine.
“In his mind, he had the idea that he would end up going beyond Holland as an artist,” Meedendorp said.