Is this drawing a long-lost portrait of Vincent van Gogh?


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Vincent van Gogh created numerous self-portraits during his lifetime, all of them depicting himself from the torso up. This week, reports in the British media point to a newly rediscovered drawing that could be the only portrait of the Dutch artist showing him from head to foot.

The BBC News reports that the pastel drawing, believed to date from the 1880s, is currently on display at the Abbey Walk Gallery in the town of Grimsby, England. It was purchased by a British couple 18 months ago for just £1,500 ($2,463). The portrait shows a man who resembles Van Gogh sitting cross-legged in a chair and wearing a top hat.


The report states that the couple has been attempting to verify the subject of the drawing. The portrait bears the signature ‘Jeanne Donnadieu’ and features the word ‘L'Incompris’ (‘The Misunderstood’) on the back.

A report in Britain’s Daily Mail says the drawing ‘could be worth millions’ if it is found to be of Van Gogh and that Donnadieu is believed to have lived next door to Van Gogh during his time in Paris. The report quotes a forensic expert as saying that efforts at authentication were ‘hampered slightly because it was a pastel drawing which is less clear, but there is a good case for it being Van Gogh.’


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-- David Ng