Van Gogh's painting of his brother uncovered by museum

Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - 5:37pm IST | Place: London | Agency: ANI
The painting, which had previously been thought to be a self-portrait of the painter, could be the only known painting of Theo, although Vincent made several sketches of his brother, who supported him financially and was his lifelong confidant and friend.

The Van Gogh Museum has uncovered a painting that they believe to be of Vincent van Gogh's brother, Theo.

The painting, which had previously been thought to be a self-portrait of the painter, could be the only known painting of Theo, although Vincent made several sketches of his brother, who supported him financially and was his lifelong confidant and friend.

"People have often thought it was funny that there were no portraits of Theo, given that they were so close," the Telegraph quoted museum spokeswoman Linda Snoek as saying.

She said the portrait was made in 1887 while the pair lived together in Paris - a lesser-known period of Van Gogh's life, since the bulk of information about Vincent is derived from letters he sent to Theo.

The painting has long been in storage, but went on display at the museum in Amsterdam as part of an exhibition on new findings about the painter's time spent in Antwerp and Paris in 1885-1888.

Head researcher Louis van Tilborgh compared two paintings from 1887 with similar-looking men in suits set against a blue background.

"They are two small, detailed portraits that when you see them you think: they belong together," Van Tilborgh said in an interview with Dutch state broadcaster NOS.

The portrait of Theo shows he had rounder ears than Vincent did. The other portrait shows Vincent with long, angular ears, consistent with other artists' paintings of Vincent.

In addition, Theo's goatee is more yellow-brown than Vincent's dark red beard, and Theo has shaven cheeks, consistent with photographs of him from the same period, while Vincent painted himself sporting mutton-chop sideburns.


Jump to comments

Around the web