New Van Gogh Discovered !

In 1974 the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands bought Still Life with Meadow Flowers and Roses, a work thought to be by Van Gogh that curators and art historians doubted. A huge question mark permanently loomed over the painting until 2003 when they decided to declare the work painted by an anonymous artist. The large, gaudy flowers, the signature’s location and the size of the canvas didn’t convince experts that this work had been painted by the master of color himself. For nine years the painting hung on a lonely wall, staring out into oblivion, keeping a secret. However, a month ago something woke up scholars in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, envisioning a discovery, hallucinating the truth. They decided to re-examine the work using high-energy ultraviolet and X-ray radiation. To their foreshadowed surprise, they not only discovered that the work was by Van Gogh but that a lost work by the artist lay hidden in the underpainting featuring two wrestlers fighting.

Van Gogh had painted the wrestlers as a homework assignment while he was studying in the art academy in Antwerp during 1886 and he had written about it in a letter to his brother, Theo. “This week I painted a large thing with two nude torsos — two wrestlers”. Everyone knew the painted existed yet no one had ever seen it. Surprise surprise! The underpainting’s existence answered doubts about the composition of Still Life with Meadow Flowers and Roses as a scientist went on to explain the oddities, “the canvas was unusually large because that was the school’s standard, and the flowers in the foreground were so ostentatious because they had to cover an entire half-naked boy”.

Finding a new painting by a great master who wasn’t appreciated during his lifetime is amazing, but it might also be a source of jealousy in scholars, researchers and curators. Will museums start re-X-raying all of their works in the hopes of discovering new ones hidden underneath? Stay tuned…

The wrestlers.
“Still Life with Meadow Flowers and Roses”, the work that up until last month was not attributed to Van Gogh but to an anonymous artist.
Experts gather around the work.



17 comments on “New Van Gogh Discovered !

  1. Gibran Avila

    Hola, no se si recuerdes quien soy. Fui a ASF y soy muy amigo de Nico – we travelled several times actually. A veces te veia pero we never really talked or “met”. Nevertheless, I wanted to say that your blog stole my attention and I deeply appreciate the way you deliver – especially the diction and description of the works themselves. I am studying Health Sciences (en Australia), going into Medicine so it is quite hard for me to be interested in anything artistic because I don’t fully understand it but your blog entries are the exception. Lina posted this on her fbook wall and well, that’s how I got here. I thought I should say hi. Keep it up and know that I will go over all the past posts I’ve missed! This material is great =D

    P.S. Excuse the Spanglish =P, ASF thing you know lol

    • Gibran ! Hey of course I remember you. Thank you so much for reading my blog and thank you so so so much for the compliments. They mean a lot and they make me want to write more. I wish I posted more often but between my jobs it’s hard enough as it is. It’s good to know that it attracts people in other fields. How have you been? Health Sciences sounds amazing and complicated. I know absolutely nothing about it. Are you coming to Mexico soon? let me know, I’ll be here for two more months.
      Thank you once again! Please keep in touch.


  2. Maravilloso resumen de lo que pasó; me dejaron con ganas de ir a verla aquí en Holanda. ¿Sigue en Otterlo?

    Felicitaciones por un buen blog.

    • Carlos muchisimas gracias por tu comentario y por leer el blog. Si, deberias de ir a ver el cuadro, aparentemente lo pasaron a un salon mas importante ya que saben la joya que es. Y yo no sabia, pero el Kröller-Müller Museum es dueño de varias obras de Van Gogh importantes asi que vale la pena ir. Es un poco como la historia de la gemela de la Mona Lisa que encontraron en el museo del Prado hace poco (escribi un post hace como un mes por si te interesa leerlo). Por que medio encontraste mi blog? Me intriga!
      Mil gracias una vez mas!


  3. Gloria Zea


    • Gloria Zea

      guau. No tenía idea de que hubiera aparecido un nuevo Van Gogh. Me encanta toda la información que recibo a través de este blog y que es nueva para mí.

  4. Yoyis I like you! Gracias por ser mi fan numero 1.

  5. Lili Botero

    Nice! I love articles like this. It surprises me, I also loved the ones about ridiculous amount of money paid for art. You have done it very entertained. We have been looking at your blog with Kevin for ten minutes and we enjoyed a lot.. its awsome Congrats! Xo

  6. Hola Andrea, como siempre con algo bueniiiiiisimo. Dos cosas: 1) aunque no he llegado en mis ensayos a 1880 o a las épocas del Maestro Van Gogh, esto me pone a pensar que el arte del maestro del color y la espátula tiene unas fases adicionales, que en la historia muy posiblemente no estan depuradas y creo que vamos a tener que ahondar mas en el tema, cuando llege a esa era, por ahora voy en Gotico. 2) En mi primer ensayo “Técnicas, Materiales y Análisis científico de la Pintura y la Escultura” aborde muchas de esas técnicas aplicadas a las obras de arte, denominado “Arqueometria”: a) Tecnica estilística, b) Tecnica de Materiales (isotopos de carbono), c) Técnicas científicas (Reflectologia Infraroja, con luz de Wood, con microscopio estereoscópico y/o de luz polarizada, con espectroscopia infrarroja con Durofleximetro, Rx convencionales, Difracción y Fluorescencia de Rx, la PIXE (Particle Induced X-Ray Emission), fluorescencia de ultravioleta, Análisis de activación de neutrones y electroforesis capilar).
    Asi que se nos vienen muchísimos nuevos descrubrimientos a medida que los museos utilizan recursos para estudiar cada obra

    Andrea, como siempre, tu blog es lo máximo


    • Gloria Zea

      Andreta divina:

      S es verdad! Tu blog es amazing! Es lo mximo. Me encant y fascin el ltimo del nuevo Van Gogh. Pero mndame tambin el que nunca recib de la exposicin de Dal en Pars.

      T fan nmero I.


  7. juan zamtto

    Me encanta tu blog.y el articulo me tiene muy feliz

Let me know your thoughts!

%d bloggers like this: