Arguably the most historically famous artist, Vincent Van Gogh is known by even the dullest art enthusiasts around. If not known by name, his Sunflowers or Starry Night will undoubtably be familiar to the eye.
Even after his psychologically complex life, Van Gogh manages to impact the world of art. A never-before-seen pencil drawing of a broken old man, head in hands looking utterly exhausted, has been identified as a work by the creative genius, and the art world is buzzing.
The piece is said to reflect on Van Gogh’s early career, before his more affluently documented years in Paris and France. It’s thought to shine light on the artist’s early career, living in The Hague.
These assessments were drawn in consideration of the museum’s collection called Worn Out, which shows a similar subject studied.
“In stylistic terms, it slots perfectly into the many figure studies we know from Van Gogh’s time in The Hague and the connection with Worn Out is obvious. The artist began by drawing a grid on the paper, which tells us that he worked with a perspective frame to help him capture a figure quickly with the correct proportions. He then worked the sheet up in his characteristically expressive drawing style: not refined, but with energetic scratches and strokes and laying down contours, in search of a pithy image with special attention to effects of light and shade,” says Meedendorp.
According to the museum, the newest addition to Van Gogh’s repertoire was drawn in late 1882, making the pencil piece a fascinating 139-years-old.
Mediums used consist of a humble carpenter’s pencil, watercolour paper and pellets of bread. Yes —bread. The artist finished off the drawing by rubbing pieces of bread on the lighter parts of the sitter’s clothes. He then coated it with a fixative made from milk and water, which made the pencil darker and more matted.
The size of the drawing measures 48.8cm by 30cm.
The drawing has been in a private collection in the Netherlands since around 1910, and goes on display until January 2, 2022.
Following the exhibition, the drawing will be returned to its owners — a Dutch family. The drawing has been hidden in their private collection for more than a century, reports News24.
“As a knowledge centre dedicated to the work of Vincent Van Gogh and his contemporaries, we’re delighted with this discovery, with which we’ve again done justice to our specialist field. It’s quite rare for a new work to be attributed to Van Gogh. We’re proud to be able to share this early drawing and its story with visitors to our museum,” says Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Van Gogh Museum.
Picture: Koen van Weel/EPA via The Guardian