Saturday, August 04, 2007

To be a Van Goph or not to be


from w
Over the years I have looked at the paintings in the Melbourne Gallery and admired the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. There has always been this small Head of a man attributed to Van Goph and apparently valued at $5 million. It wasn't painted in the thick brush style of Van Goph, but okay, I'm not one to question the experts. I really love Van Goph's flower paintings, starry nights, wild grassy fields, but this particular portrait was a bit ordinary.

Well, this weekend at least two of the Australian papers ran a story of the announcement by a probably embarrassed National Gallery Director of Victoria - after intensive research and sampling of the paint, etc. - that this was not a Van Goph after all!

Senior Arts writer of The Australian newspaper, Gabriella Coslovich, wrote that in August last year when the painting was exhibited at the Edinbugh Festival an art critic of the Sunday Times questioned its authenticity so the next twelve months a forensic kind of investigation was conducted on the painting.

Not that it's a deliberate fake, but it's by someone from the same time. Well, now the value is really knocked down! That's how silly the 'valuation' is on paintings by 'Big Names'! So when a rooster becomes a feather duster as they say, what then is the value of this 'ordinary' painting?

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Karen Winters said...

I agree with you Wendy, it doesn't look like a Van Gogh to me either, unless it was one from his earlier work before he did the highly decorative brushwork. I think there are often giveaways in paintings, such as how a painter always does eyes or certain favorite color combinations, or how they blend edges into the background. It's like handwriting and this doesn't look like most of the other Vincents I've seen. But I sure haven't seen them all, so what do I know ...

8:21 PM  
Blogger Um Naief said...

i'm not sure about this one, but i saw on the news today where they have found another "drawing" that they are saying is van gogh.... they've compared it to a painting, doing xray analysis and such on it, and have determined that it is, indeed, a van gogh. no one knew... and they've had it hanging in the gallery for a while now!

weird that all of these so called "lost" paintings are appearing.

3:41 AM  
Blogger karlajean said...

I love that you didn't think, for years, that it wasn't really in his style or use of paint/brush strokes....
shows you know much more than you think!

11:23 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

Interesting Wendy, and after all so many of these artists had hangers on who `copied, did bits of even whole paintings under supervision, so are we all too hung up about who did what and how. I suppose it actually looks like van Gogh so at least we know or hope we know what he looked like.

9:18 PM  

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