The “new” Van Gogh, “Study for ‘Out of Stock'”, November 1882, is part of a private Dutch collection and was known to only a handful of people, including some from the Van Gogh Museum.
The owner, who remains anonymous, asked the museum to determine if the unsigned drawing is by Van Gogh.
From the style to the materials used – a thick carpenter’s pencil and thick watercolor paper – it fits Van Gogh’s drawings in The Hague, lead researcher Teio Meedendorp said Thursday.
There are even traces of damage on the back that link it to the way Van Gogh used wads of starch to attach sheets of paper to the drawing boards.
“It is quite rare that a new work is attributed to Van Gogh,” said the museum’s director, Emilie Gordenker, in a statement. “We are proud to be able to share this initial drawing and its story with our visitors.”
It comes from a time in the artist’s career when he was working to improve his skills as a painter of people and portraits by drawing them. And again.
The museum already owns the nearly identical drawing, “Worn Out.”
“It was pretty clear that they are related,” Meedendorp said.
The study has been loaned to the museum and will be on display from Friday to January 2.
It shows an old man sitting, hunched forward, in a wooden chair, his bald head in his hands.
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Even the model’s pants appear to conform to the English title: a patch is clearly visible on the right leg.
It’s a far cry from the vibrant oil paintings of sunflower vases and French landscapes that eventually made the haunted Van Gogh, after his death in 1890, one of the world’s most famous artists, whose works have garnered astronomical prices at auctions. .
Instead, it illustrates how, as a young artist practicing his craft in The Hague in 1882, Van Gogh had to face an uncomfortable truth.
“He found that he lacked the ability to paint people. So he was already drawing them, but he liked to paint,” Meedendorp said.
“So in order to be able to paint people too, he went back to the drawing board.”
Van Gogh, who was famous for depending on the generosity of his brother Theo throughout his life, gave the drawings an English title in an attempt to generate some name recognition and possibly even land a job in an illustrated magazine. .
“In his mind, he had the idea of going further than Holland in the end as an artist,” Meedendorp said.