The authenticity of Vincent Van Gogh's 'Self-Portrait' painting has been questioned for some time, but it has now been confirmed that the 1889 painting is indeed the work of the famous Dutch post-impressionist painter.

Van Gogh.jpg
Vincent Van Gogh's 'Self-Portrait' 1889 © Nasjonalmuseet, The Fine Art Collections

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Nasjonalmuseet in Oslo confirmed the attribution after extensive technical and stylistic examination. The Nasjonalmuseet purchased the painting in 1910, but its authenticity has been openly questioned since 1970. Its provenance was incomplete and the work was not deemed typical of Van Gogh in terms of either style or use of colour. Experts were unable to agree on the precise date of its execution or its place of origin.

Vincent van Gogh, 'Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear' 1889
Vincent van Gogh, 'Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear' 1889 © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery

It was revealed in 2006 that the painting belonged to the painter's friends, Joseph and Marie Ginoux in Arles. Then, in 2014, the Van Gogh Museum carried out a comprehensive study of the portrait. Based on its style, technique, material, provenance and unusual iconography, they concluded that the self-portrait is unmistakably the work of Van Gogh and was painted by him at the end of his first major psychotic episode at the Saint-Rémy asylum in 1889. They decided that the somewhat unusual type of canvas, pigments, sombre palette and brushwork are all in keeping with his output in the late summer and autumn of that year.

The Van Gogh Museum in The Netherlands
'In the Picture' will run at the Van Gogh Museum © meunierd/Shutterstock

Art-lovers can decide for themselves as 'Self-Portrait' will feature in the art exhibition 'In the Picture,' which opens at the Van Gogh Museum on 21 February. It will be devoted entirely to the role and meaning of artists’ portraits, and will also include Van Gogh's 'Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear.' Afterwards, 'Self-Portrait' will return to Oslo, where it will be displayed as part of the Nasjonalmuseet’s permanent collection when the new museum opens in the spring of 2021.

For further information on 'In the Picture,' please see here.

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