Van Gogh’s “new” drawing has never been publicly exhibited at the Amsterdam museum


A recently discovered work by Vincent van Gogh is now on display for the first time in public at the Amsterdam museum named after the Dutch master.

“The study for ‘Worn Out’ is a preliminary study for the 1882 ‘Worn Out’ drawing, one of the most powerful character designs of Van Gogh’s period in The Hague,” an spokesperson for the Van Gogh Museum.

From the style of the sketch to the materials used – a heavy carpenter’s pencil and coarse watercolor paper – the design conforms to Van Gogh’s drawings in The Hague. There are even traces of damage to the back, connecting the artwork to how Van Gogh used wads of starch to attach sheets of paper to drawing boards.

Emilie Gordenker, director of the Van Gogh Museum, told Fox News that the piece is a must-see for American tourists: “As a center of expertise dedicated to the work of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries, we are delighted of this discovery. and are very happy to have made a contribution to our area of ​​specialization. It is quite rare that a new work is attributed to Van Gogh. We are proud to be able to share this first drawing and its story with our visitors.


The art comes from a time in the virtuoso’s career when he was working to improve his skills as a character and portrait painter by drawing them over and over again.

The work illustrates how, as a young artist in the practice of his craft, Van Gogh had to face an uncomfortable truth: only true perfecting of skill leads to mastery.

The work is not for sale and its value is immeasurable: “The Van Gogh Museum never comments on the value of Van Gogh’s works. We are not an artistic institution that sells works of art. We are only interested in the historical value of the art of the work. “

The artwork shows a man – old and hairless – seated, leaning forward in a wooden chair, his tired head in his hands.

The museum added: “The model of the drawing appears regularly in the work of Van Gogh, who has drawn the bald old man more than forty times. In these drawings, the artist not only displayed his sympathy for socially disadvantaged people, but also paid attention to them, for they were for him in no way inferior to the well-to-do bourgeoisie. “

Van Gogh, who had little lucrative success during his lifetime, died on July 29, 1890 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The inspiration for the play resonates with the outcome of his professional life. “In the fall of 1882, Van Gogh tried to make some of his figure studies more expressive, to elevate them to a higher level.“ Worn Out ”is one of the most compelling examples. study for this drawing allows us to closely follow the process leading to the powerful image, ”the museum noted.

The young painter gave the drawings an English title in an attempt to make himself known a little and maybe even land a job in an illustrated magazine.

Even the mannequin’s pants appear to conform to the English title – a patch is clearly visible on the right leg.

The museum said: “Worn Out is one of the strongest figure drawings of Van Gogh’s The Hague period. In letters to his brother Theo and his friend Anthon van Rappard, Van Gogh described the genesis of the drawing in detail, but the studies he mentioned were yet to be discovered. The discovery of Study for ‘Worn Out’ now gives us an intriguing glimpse into this working process. Especially how in the final version, on which the lithograph was based, Van Gogh saw his model from a different perspective, made her adopt a different pose, in order to add more emotional expression. That being said, the study remains a beautiful and powerful drawing by Van Gogh, which stands well alone. “

The work was hidden in plain sight: in a private collection.

“The study for ‘Worn Out’ was submitted to the Van Gogh Museum for authentication research some time ago. The Van Gogh Museum acknowledged the authenticity of the design and made a report for the owner. investigation into this drawing will be published in the visual arts journal The Burlington Magazine in October, and the drawing has been on display at the museum since last Friday. “

The reasons for this sudden discovery are a mystery. “Nothing was known about the drawing until it got to the museum,” the museum noted. “However, it is possible to infer from Van Gogh’s letters that two studies preceded the ‘Worn Out’ design, one of which was with a different model. The design had not been discovered, but neither had one. another with the same model: Van Gogh’s early comic books were simply lost, so it was a wonderful surprise when one of the two studies turned out not to be actually lost, only hidden for so long.


“Study for ‘Worn out'” will be on display on the first floor of the permanent collection of the Van Gogh Museum until January. Visitors will be able to view the drawing against the backdrop of other Van Gogh works from the same period – all from the collection of the Van Gogh Museum – including the “Worn Out” drawing itself.

After the exhibition closes, the drawing, including its new frame, will be returned to the owner, who remains anonymous.

The artwork is a far cry from the vibrant oil paintings of vases of sunflowers and French landscapes that ultimately made the tormented Van Gogh – after his death in 1890 – one of the world’s most famous artists, whose works have won astronomical prices at auction.

Teio Meedendorp, senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum, told Fox News: “Showing the study for ‘Worn Out’ in the context of this other work gives us special insight into Van Gogh’s work process. In addition, the study is very fine drawing, powerful, which stands on its own. “

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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