discovered drawing by Van Gogh
A newly discovered drawing by Van Gogh solves one of the artist’s lingering mysteries
Researchers from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam made the sensational discovery.
The oeuvre of Vincent van Gogh has just become a bit bigger. A previously unknown drawing was attributed to the Dutch master by researchers at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. In a double Dutch twist, the discovery led to the authentication of the second Van Gogh drawing.
The newly discovered drawing, entitled The Hill of Montmartre with Stone Quarry (1886), has been in the Van Vlissingen collection for more than 100 years and is being passed on for generations. By reconstructing the origin, researchers discovered that the drawing was handed over to the Dutch art dealership JH de Bois in 1911 by Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, the widow of Van Gogh’s brother Theo. Six years later, in 1917, the Bois sold it and disappeared from sight.
With regard to artnet News, Teio Meedendorp, a senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum, said that the drawing was back when an art consultant working with the family saw it. The presumption of the drawing could be from the Dutch artist, the consultant made sure that it was sent to the Van Gogh Museum for research.
Meedendorp and his team examined the artwork and determined that the subject, the size, style, technique and materials were in accordance with Van Gogh’s hand. “The paper is of the same type, the same size and has the same watermark that Van Gogh used in his early drawings in Paris,” said Meedendorp. “This led us to believe that [the drawing] is really Van Gogh’s.”
The attribution led to the Van Gogh Museum going back to the origin of a similar drawing, The Hill of Montmartre (1886), which was already in the collection. The drawing appeared in two catalogs raisonnés in the 70s, but the museum rejected the work in 2001 by Van Gogh’s hand, partly because of a lack of comparable material. That decision is now reversed. “It is fantastic news that finally two drawings can be added to Van Gogh’s oeuvre”, said museum director Axel Rüger in a statement.
Stylistically, the drawings are reminiscent of the period that the artist spent in Antwerp, and he studied early in his career under the French artist Fernand Cormon in Paris. “These drawings are quite exceptional because they show a more academic, more traditional side of his oeuvre that he strived for when he first moved to Paris and still developed his own voice,” Meedendorp said.
Both drawings will be shown at the exhibition “Impressionism and beyond. A Wonderful Journey,” which opened on Tuesday at the Singer Laren Museum in Laren, the Netherlands.