Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of coverage in the news about a Van Gogh self-portrait (Self Portrait with Straw Hat, 1887), shown below, which is now thought by the Van Gogh Museum to be a portrait not of Vincent, but instead of his brother Theo van Gogh. The findings come from research by the Van Gogh Museum research team and as part of the exhibition “Van Gogh in Antwerp and Paris: New Perspectives,” which opened at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam on June 22 of this year. It is thought that the painting was “the companion painting” to Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait, 1887 in which he is wearing a grey felt hat. The differences in the two portraits pointed out by the museum are in the beards as well as the eye color and ear shape. If the research proves true, this would be the only known portrait that Van Gogh painted of his brother Theo. The exhibition runs until the 18 of September 2011, so if you are in the Amsterdam area this summer, be sure to take a look to see for yourself. If you can’t make it to the exhibition, read more about their research here.
Share your thoughts and comment; do you think the portrait in question is Vincent or Theo?
I think it’s believable that this is Theo. I find it very hard to believe that Vincent did not paint a portrait of Theo considering how close the brothers were and how much of an impact Theo had on Vincent’s art career.