Amazing! Did Van Gogh hide Wrestlers under the flowers? There was doubt about the authenticity of this painting for a long time ... The Kröller-Müller Museum purchased this artwork in 1974. From the beginning, the experts doubted the authenticity of this painting. Read the story behind this beautiful Still life by Vincent van Gogh or watch the video.
The Kröller-Müller Museum purchased this artwork in 1974.
From the start there were doubts as to whether it was a real Van Gogh: the size was unusual, the flowers were considered too excessive and his signature was in an unusual position.
The style of painting was deemed inconsistent with Van Gogh's development. The work was therefore written off in 2003 and was classified as 'artist: anonymous'.
However, the investigation continued. An X-ray examination revealed that two wrestlers were painted under the flower still life. In November 1885 Van Gogh left the Netherlands for Antwerp. There he followed a course at the art academy. Part of the course was a study of two wrestlers. In January 1886, Vincent wrote to his brother Theo: 'This week I painted a large thing with two nude torsos - two wrestlers [...] And I really like doing that'. This seems to be a clear indication that the flower still life is a painting by Vincent.
In February 1886 Vincent went to Paris where he moved in with Theo, who worked there as an art dealer. In Paris, Vincent is influenced by what he sees around him and he experiments with bright colors, different styles and techniques, constantly changing and developing his style. During the two years that he lives in Paris, his style is so varied that it is very difficult to recognize his paintings as his.
In 2012, with a new research technique and a team of experts from TU Delft, Antwerp University, Deutsches Elektronen- Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg, the Van Gogh Museum and the Kröller-Müller Museum, it was determined that the underlying painting is indeed by Van Gogh. He painted the flower still life over it later.