Self-portrait of Van Gogh found hidden behind another painting in UK Gallery


The self-portrait was completed before Van Gogh cut off his left ear in 1888.


A gallery in Scotland said it was “excited” on Thursday to announce the discovery of a previously unknown self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh, with his ear intact, hidden behind another painting.

The portrait was found on the back of the canvas of the Dutch Post-Impressionist work “Head of a Peasant Woman from 1885”, covered with layers of glue and cardboard.

It shows a bearded nanny in a brimmed hat and a cravat tied loosely at the neck. It was completed before Van Gogh cut off his left ear in 1888.

Visitors to the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh will be able to see it as an X-ray through a specially designed light box at an upcoming exhibition.

In the longer term, curators are working to safely remove it from the overlapping canvas without damaging the paintings.

Lesley Stevenson, senior curator of paintings at the National Galleries, said they were “satisfied” with the find.

“Obviously, when we first saw the X-ray, we were extremely excited,” she said.

“This is an important discovery because it adds to what we already know about Van Gogh’s life.

“There’s a lot to think about regarding the next steps, but for us it’s just another little push to bring us a little bit closer to an incredible artist.”

Curators believe the painting is part of a series of experimental self-portraits. Five similar works are exhibited in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, painted before moving to Paris in 1886.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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