This article was last updated on July 14, 2022
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On the back of another painting by Vincent Van Gogh, a new self-portrait was found.
A fresh self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh has been unearthed by experts from the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS), according to NRC. An X-ray led to the discovery of the portrait on the back of the painting, Head of a Peasant Woman with a White Cap, from 1885.
A thick coating of glue and cardboard obscures the image. Most likely, Van Gogh painted this piece in Paris during the summer of 1887. Experts made an X-ray of the Nuenen peasant lady while they were looking at the picture of her.
The X-ray was tweeted by a BBC journalist:
Curator-in-chief Lesley Stevenson tells the BBC that she was “shocked” to see the artist staring directly at her. It’s safe to say that when we first saw the picture, we were overjoyed. When Van Gogh was working on the backs of his paintings, it wasn’t the first time. To save money, he did this.
Since 1960, the Scottish Museum’s collection has included the head of a white-hatted peasant woman. The picture was purchased by Evelyn St. Croix Fleming in 1923. Her son, who is most known for his work on the spy franchise, was created by her son. When the sculpture got to Scotland in 1951, it was given to the National Gallery of Scotland, where it is still kept to this day.
It was discovered in 1905.
Glue and cardboard were presumably added to the painting’s back around 1905. This may have been in preparation for an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in the Netherlands. The front was thought to be finished, but the back was not.
The exhibition A Taste for Impressionism prompted the Scottish investigation of the piece. The X-ray, which depicts the self-portrait, will now be shown in addition to the work done with the farmer’s wife. In only two weeks, the display will be accessible to the public.
After the show, the institution intends to display the self-portrait permanently. It’s impossible to say how long this will take. “Something like this needs to be done very cautiously. We don’t want to put pressure on it,” a curator told NRC.