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While Vincent van Gogh’s self-portraits were a significant part of his painting career, no confirmed photographs of the artist as an adult are known to exist. However, an 1887 melanotype that recently came to light reportedly shows van Gogh smoking a pipe while having a drink with friends.
Serge Plantureux wrote for L’Oeil de la Photographie that the photograph was identified through discovering the names of the other figures in the picture (who include artists Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard, no small discovery in themselves), fixing it in a place and time, and analyzing the photographic process. He writes that the shot came to him through a couple who stopped by his Paris pop-up gallery:
The photograph they had brought to show me was small, dark, and rather difficult to see. Six characters were around a table. The light was pale, perhaps it was a winter afternoon.
They told me, still hesitant, that they thought they recognized the people in it, artists in whom they had long been interested. They were collectors and liked the painters of the late 19th century, in particular the neo-impressionists. They also said it was possible that one of the figures around the table was someone whose true face had never been seen.
Michael Zhang at PetaPixel points out that there are confirmed photos of van Gogh at 13 and 19. There are also other unconfirmed photographs of van Gogh, such as this portrait found in the 1990s. The 1887 photograph went to auction today at the Romantic Agony in Brussels, which is quite the appropriately named auction house for the troubled 19th-century artist whose true face — beyond his own, pensive self-portraits — remains mysterious. That said, now that he’s turning up in NYC subway trains and the odd 19th-century photograph, who knows where we’ll see van Gogh next?
UPDATE: According to DutchNews.nl, the photograph expert at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is not convinced that it is of the painter.
Archeologists can now prove the Vikings made landfall in the Americas hundreds of years before Columbus reached the Bahamas.
This week, the National Gallery of Art finally acquired a major work by Faith Ringgold, the director of The Velvet Underground talks film, North America’s Hindu Nationalist problem, canceling legacy admissions, and more.
No Vacancy, curated by Jody Graf, will be on view from October 26 through November 8 at the school’s Kellen Gallery in New York City.
Sculptures of Oaxacan alebrijes, envisioned as guardians of the nation’s immigrant community, and catrinas, Day of the Dead skeletons, are now at Rockefeller Center.
“I am trying to keep the immediacy of my emotional experience while I’m painting.”
Art by Athena LaTocha, Wendy Red Star, Marianne Nicolson, Anita Fields, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith & Neal Ambrose-Smith, and more is on view through January 2022.
The intention behind the seemingly bizarre combination was, according to Attie, “to give visual form to the shared American and Brazilian reality of nationalistic divisions that defines our political present.”
Nowhere in the museums’ advertising blitzkrieg for the performance were we told to bring our wildfire-season masks as well as our covid masks, and covid masks don’t prevent smoke inhalation.