A self-portrait has been proven to be completed by none other than Vincent Van Gogh, after decades of back-and-forth debate as to its creator.
According to Artnet News, the artwork — aptly known as “Self-Portrait (1889)” — was concluded as done by Van Gogh himself, despite critics drawing speculation to missing elements commonly found in Van Gogh’s other work, an unmatched style, bleak color palette and more. The conflicting arguments stem back all the way to 1970.
The Norwegian national museum Nasjonalmuseet has had the painting since 1910 and, to conclude the matter once and for all, invited Amsterdam experts in 2014 to finalize their findings. After inspection of key elements, a conclusion was made that the work was completed not only by the Dutch painter, but also during his time suffering from psychosis, making “Self-Portrait (1889)” a highly significant piece in Van Gogh’s career.
To date, the piece would be the only artwork completed while he suffered from the mental disorder, thus depicting him at a time of discontent and illness. Van Gogh Museum senior researcher Louis van Tilborgh stated the heightened importance of the piece, that “although Van Gogh was frightened to admit at that point that he was in a similar state to his fellow residents at the asylum, he probably painted this portrait to reconcile himself with what he saw in the mirror: a person he did not wish to be, yet was.”
The portrait also draws a connection to a letter he wrote to his brother Theo on September 20, 1889, as “an attempt from when I was ill” and in a mental institution in Saint-Rémy of the same year. The painting’s origin thus explains the less-bright-more-gloomy color palette, defeated demeanor and lifeless expression found within.
“Self-Portrait (1889)” is presently housed at Nasjonalmuseet in Oslo, Norway.
In other art news, a billionaire banker has been caught smuggling a Picasso painting worth $29 million USD.