Van Gogh Self Portrait Sparks Controversy

Vincent or Theo

Newly Discovered Portrait Of Theo Could Be Just Another Self-Portrait  – ArtLyst Exclusive

We reported yesterday that an art researcher had discovered a rare portrait of Theo Van Gogh, in the storeroom of the Van Gogh museum, in Amsterdam. The story shot around the world on the internet, creating a sensation, rarely seen in the world of art. Today I received several email comments, some plausible and some quite outside of the box. The most interesting hypothesis came from Art sleuth, Svend Erik Hendriksen, who writes for the Greenland Art Review, he stated; “Interesting theory, but in my professional opinion it can’t be a portrait of Theo van Gogh. Both of the paintings pictured are self-portraits by van Gogh. If you look closely you can see that they are both reversed most likely painted using a mirror. It’s highly unusual to paint a reversed portrait. I can’t recall any. It is traditional that mens jacket buttons are fixed on the right side of the garment. It’s not a mistake. Vincent van Gogh was always very careful with reversing his paintings, he only used the technique on self-portraits. For example,in his three self-portraits at the easel from 1886, 1888 and 1889 he presents himself as a lefthanded artist. In these works, the tools ie palette and brushes are in his right hand, so I logically deduce that he painted with his left hand. The portrait of Dr. Felix Rey from 1889 is the only exception for some reason he painted Dr. Rey’s body reversed. I suspect that he painted his own body from a mirror and put put the head of Dr. Rey on top of it. It would be very useful under the circumstances to have an X-Ray made of the painting ,as much could be explained by the process. There is also the possibility that it was painted over an unknown self-portrait”.- Svend Erik Hendriksen

When the new van Gogh exhibition opened tuesday 22 June, the Museum’s website was open for public comment “Vincent or Theo ?  What is your opinion ?”
After some hours, the posted remarks were removed, as there were so many critical posts. My conclusion, It’s not his brother, but another a self-portrait.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has under its management two hundred paintings and about five hundred drawings by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). This is the largest and most representative collection of his work in the world. Much was donated to the museum by the artist’s family. It is analysed, discussed and interpreted in a sets of volumes and in the collection catalogues.
The Museum has published a new monographic work: “Vincent van Gogh, Paintings 2. Antwerp and Paris, 1885-1888.”  It focuses on 93 paintings that are central to Van Gogh’s years in Antwerp and Paris, a period that has been somewhat underexposed in the past. This is the first time the paintings produced in this period have been subjected to detailed scrutiny and interpretation. The paintings show Van Gogh’s development, in a short space of time, from a realist with an idealistic message into a true modernist who sought to build on the achievements of the Impressionists. His diverse influences included the Provencal painter Adolphe Monticelli, the Impressionist, Neo-Impressionist schools, and Japanese prints. The book also dwells on technical aspects of his painting, such as changes in his use of materials, which reveal much about his love of experimentation and his quest for diversity in technique. The book is richly illustrated with numerous works that Van Gogh produced in Paris and those he saw by other artists. I’m sure the debate will continue below in the comments box. 

Read – Rare Theo Van Gogh Portrait Discovered