Painting Likely Done While Artist Was In Asylum, Experts Say
Art expert and historians in Boston and Amsterdam announced Friday that they have discovered a valuable lost work by the painter Vincent Van Gogh hidden under an existing canvas at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, discovered the Van Gogh painting underneath the artist’s painting entitled “Ravine,” which is owned by the MFA.
MFA conservator Meta Chavannes was conducting a technical examination of “Ravine” and discovered the existence of the second painting below the paint surface of the work.
Upon meeting with the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam and Louis van Tilborgh, the Van Gogh research curator at the Van Gogh Museum, it was established that the underlying composition was most likely painted in June 1889, the museum said, during the early period of Van Gogh’s stay at the asylum of Saint-Paul de Mausole near the Provençal town of Saint-Rémy, and was reused as a support for Ravine a few months later, in October 1889.
Van Tilborgh related the X-radiograph of Ravine to a drawing Van Gogh sent his brother in mid-1889 entitled “Wild Vegetation.”
Scholars have suggested that this drawing, in the Van Gogh Museum, forms part of group of around a dozen drawn copies of paintings that the artist sent to his brother Theo in July 1889, but no painting was known upon which this particular drawing could have been based. As a result of this current research, the lost painting has been rediscovered, officials said.