Saturday, 13 April 2013

A Real Van Gogh?

Here's a puzzle worthy of BBC's Fake Or Fortune? Is this unfinished painting Study by Candlelight a genuine work by Vincent Van Gogh, painted in 1888? In 1948 Hollywood producer and then head of Universal Pictures William Goetz lashed out $50,000 on it. That's a hell of a price to pay if it is a fake. He bought it from a reputable art dealer and it was deemed genuine by a Van Gogh expert at the time. But is it? The term "candlelight" is a misnomer, because the halo is a blazing sun. Typical of Van Gogh's style? The face, head and hair are similar to other self-portraits executed in 1888 and dedicated to Paul Gauguin. Do I see a dedication to Gauguin on this painting? And what of the "modern" superhero drawn or printed on the canvas? It isn't modern. It's a Japanese woodcut print (ukiyo-e). Van Gogh and his brother Theo collected these prints and at one time dealt in them. In a letter to Theo, Van Gogh wrote "All my work is based to some extent on Japanese art". So it fits. Today the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, USA, opened A Real Van Gogh? An Unsolved Art World Mystery. The exhibition delves into this question and invites visitors to make up their own minds (CLICK).

11 Comments:

At 14/4/13, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a spectacular painting ... it is truly eye popping!

 
At 14/4/13, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

But is it the real deal? I think so, but we need modern hi-tech confirmation. Shame it was unfinished, 2 years before Van Gogh's death.

 
At 14/4/13, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A fantastic self portrait, hard to believe it could not be the real deal.

 
At 14/4/13, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A beautiful painting, haunting and mysterious . I would love to watch the mystery movie made about this story. I can see Vincent in his room painting in the semi dark.

 
At 15/4/13, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

We'll see what the hi-tech boys have to say. They will be examining the portrait.

 
At 15/4/13, Blogger jane said...

The scientists will tell us, but it looks fake to me - I cannot imagine the man who wrote the letters painting himself as the center of the universe, giving himself a halo, like this. But then, the letters were doctored by his sister-in-law . . .

 
At 15/4/13, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Hi, Jane

He was mentally ill at the time, which might explain the halo. Schizophrenic art tends toward halos and blazing outlines. I think it's genuine, but, as you say, the scientists will tell us.

 
At 23/4/13, Blogger vanrijngo said...

The way I first seen this unfinished work of art is that it very well may be a copy of an earlier drawing done by Vincent. I was basing my opinion on the fact that this painting, the way that it looks to be laid out, the unified way of it's being put together from top to the bottom didn't look to me like the way Vincent would have made a portrait of himself at all.

Vincent was a very fast painter from the beginning to the end of each work of art. He did not take all that long of a time period in each oil painting. I thought I could see how much time consuming these brushstrokes seems to have taken him. In calculating the supposed use of these different colors he is supposedly laying over the seeminly already drying paint along with the non-mixing of the colors did in fact bring on these first opinions of mine.

In other works of his showing brushstrokes close, a person will see a lot of differences as the colors look here. It seems that they would seep together as being more of a blended paint as to these colors. Many of his other works would indicate what I'm saying. I'm talking of paint that is laid down on the top of drying paint instead of onto wet paint already put down onto the canvas.

I cannot believe the way this painting having been left not finished with only about ten minutes left I figure it would have taken him. What is with this cartoon drawing on the bare canvas, and if Vincent might have ran out of paint,.. No,.. I'd only guess not by Vincent's hand, even with my having to look at the small picture that was provided. Now in going back myself looking at the face closer and at the bottom of the green jacket he is warring, I noticed that the brushstroke started very much to resemble his own strokes. I could then visualize his techniques that he had always used in his works of art.

Sometimes it is very difficult to come to right conclusion at first seeing a work of art by a masterful painter's hand. Now if it is looked at right and allowed to be check out by new computer scanning methods and new technical procedures and analogies, the truth usually will come out, that if it is allowed by the so-called art experts of different artist Foundations and art historians that even some are considered the same as Emperors.

 
At 23/4/13, Blogger Ian Cox said...

Researchers will be applying modern analytical techniques to the painting, presumably after the exhibition is over. So we may get a definite answer then.

 
At 21/8/14, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not Van Gogh. He painted fast and this has been painted slowly. If you paint you will see the difference. Its a pastiche, based on a drawi
ng and a painting. Also not his method or technique. Poor copy.

 
At 22/8/14, Blogger Ian Cox said...

I still haven't come across a definative answer from the hi-tech researchers. This needs a Fake or Fortune investigation.

 

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