Van Gogh self-portrait isn't

22nd June 2011, Comments 0 comments

A picture painted by Vincent van Gogh in 1887, which was thought to be a self-portrait, has turned out instead to be a portrait of his brother Theo. The Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum announced the discovery after new research into 93 of Vincent's works.

Although the two brothers looked similar, the museum points out that there were clear differences between them. The person in the painting has an ochre-coloured beard and clean-shaven cheeks, he also displays a handsome round ear, all of which point to Vincent's brother Theo. The museum says photos of Theo correspond to the facial characteristics shown in the painting. Vincent's bushy beard was reddish and covered his cheeks, and his ears were fleshy.

It had been thought that Vincent never painted a portrait of his brother, with whom he had a close relationship. Theo supported his painter brother through thick and thin.

Other findings suggest that the title of the painting , is wrong; the bird shown is in fact a partridge. Other works assumed to have been painted in 1887 in Asnières near Paris depict scenes from the then recently-planted gardens of the Sacre Coeur basilica in the French capital.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is currently exhibiting many of the works affected by the research. They will remain on show there until 18 September.

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