The art world still carries a lot of mysteries that have been giving scientists headaches throughout the years. One artwork in particular has been raising debates over its author for decades. Now X-ray treatment reveals the artwork it is in fact a painting by the popular Van Gogh.
The town of Otterlo, in the eastern Netherlands has been displaying in its Kroeller Mueller Museum a piece of artwork that generated a lot of debates over the years. The fact that nobody was able to identify the artwork’s author has lead to a series of theories.
But as years went by, technology became accessible and a lot of artworks have been subjected to the X-ray treatment. The unknown author painting hanging for display in the Kroeller Mueller Museum was subjected to a similar treatment to finally find an answer to the many questions surrounding it. The result was surprising, as the X-ray confirmed one theory that was pointing at Van Gogh as the author of the painting.
The artwork so in focus at the moment is known as “Still Life with Meadow Flowers and Roses”. For many years experts ruled the painting couldn’t have been one of Van Gogh’s because of several factors that didn’t line up with the painter’s other works. For instance, experts argued that the location of the signature does not check with Van Gogh’s or that the large format of the piece wasn’t exactly in his style. The composition itself was ruled to have too many flowers for the overall painting to be a creation of Van Gogh.
In the end, the X-ray treatment showed something surprising. Underneath the meadow flowers and roses there was another painting covered. The painting hit in the painting features two wrestlers in combat.
Louis van Tiborgh, senior researcher with Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, looked at the underpainting. He mentioned that the X-ray image confirms the painting was indeed in the style of the Antwerp academy. The fact that the wrestlers are posing half nude as well as the large format of the canvas are some of the factors that confirmed it belongs with the Antwerp academy. A letter from Van Gogh to his brother and brush stroked and used pigments also pointed out that the artwork belonged to him.