Van Gogh self-portrait found on back of earlier painting
July 14, 2022 - A new self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh has been discovered on the reverse side of one of his paintings, hidden behind glue and cardboard.
A previously unknown self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh has been found on the back of another of his paintings.
The sensational discovery was made when an X-ray image was taken of Van Gogh’s “Head of a Peasant Woman” (1885) in advance of a forthcoming Impressionism exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.
Currently, the self-portrait is covered by layers of glue and cardboard believed to have been applied to the reverse of “Head of a Peasant Woman” before being framed for an exhibition held in Amsterdam around 1905.
Experts are researching to see if they can uncover the self-portrait, but warn that removing the glue and cardboard will require delicate conservation work to avoid harming the painting on the other side.
It’s believed Van Gogh painted the self-portrait after he moved to Paris and was exposed to the work of French Impressionists.
“Head of a Peasant Woman”, which shows a local woman from the town of Nuenen in the Netherlands, was donated to the National Gallery of Scotland collection in 1960 by a prominent Edinburgh lawyer.
It will feature in the “A Taste for Impressionism” exhibition on The Mound in Edinburgh (July 30-November 13, 2022), together with an illuminated copy of the x-ray image.