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article imageUnknown Dutch picture proves to be two van Gogh originals

By Nancy Houser     Mar 26, 2012 in Entertainment
The van Gogh painting recently found in the Netherlands is the culmination of a 40-year mystery. A new scanning technique has proved it to be two van Gogh originals, one painted over the top of another.
The x-ray scan has concluded that the 1886 van Gogh "Still Life with Meadow Flowers and Roses" was painted over another earlier work believed to have been done by the Dutch artist while he was at art school in Antwerp. Hanging for forty years in the Kröller-Müller museum, it was not considered a van Gogh painting due to its unusual size.
However, according to the International Business Times, the new scanning technique known as Macro Scanning X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry proved that the painting's palette perfectly matched pigment used by van Gogh during his period in Paris. What also helped in the search was van Gogh's letters to his brother, Theo. He had described the painting in his letters, which helped to attribute the painting of the flowers to van Gogh, In early 1886 Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo: "This week I painted a large thing with two nude torsos - two wrestlers."
"So we examined this painting with a new technique, X-ray fluorescent scanning, that allowed us to visualise a hidden painting below the surface, so below the flowers still life is actually a second painting, van Gogh literally recycled his canvases and quite often painted on top of existing paintings and that is also the case with the present painting," said professor Joris Dik of the Technical University in Delft, who performed the scan.
"Interestingly, below the flowers still life we see a totally different picture, a very classical, academic study of two wrestlers, and interestingly, this lower painting was described by Van Gogh in one of his letters so that is a sort of a smoking gun evidence for the authenticity of this painting," Dik told Reuters.
One of the world's most prolific artists of the 19th century, van Gogh had aspired to become an artist in God's service, stating in Wikipedia, "...to try to understand the real significance of what the great artists, the serious masters, tell us in their masterpieces, that leads to God; one man wrote or told it in a book; another in a picture." Before committing suicide at the age of 37, his final letter to his brother admitted that as he did not have any children, he viewed his paintings as his offspring.
According to the van Gogh gallery, listed today are over 2,000 van Gogh originals that were completed in ten years, with 85 missing, in private collections or in unknown locations. Additionally, six of his works have been destroyed by fire. The Van Gogh Gallery is requesting information to help them locate the 85 missing van Gogh works by contacting them at Vangoghgallery.com.
More about unknown picture, Netherlands, Van gogh, Vincent van gogh, van gogh original
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