Mystery picture could be a Van Gogh

Mystery picture could be a Van Gogh

HIDDEN TREASURE: Could this be a Van Gogh self-portrait? Photo credit: VRT News/Ward Schouppe

A possible Van Gogh self-portrait has come to light in Ghent.

Hannes and Lore discovered the painting during extensions to their home, Lore explained to the VRT broadcaster.

As the family had outgrown the house the couple bought in 2008, they recently purchased the neighbouring property which they are currently converting into a single home.

They immediately recognised the Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh in a picture painted directly onto plaster which until then had been covered with insulation.

The previous owner is no longer alive but her son has told VRT that the picture must have been there before 1993 when she went there to live.

Their first thought was to contact the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam but after failing to receive a reply, they contacted a local art expert, Lore told VRT.

An initial examination was inconclusive, although the age of the plasterwork suggested the painting was old.  On the other hand, although the style was “awkward” that did not rule out the possibility that it was Van Gogh’s work, the expert explained, as the artist often made rough preliminary studies for the pictures he painted later.

Could Van Gogh have painted it?

The dates add up, as the district where Hannes and Lore live was built between 1875 and 1890, while Van Gogh’s letters reveal that he passed through Ghent in 1885 after leaving Paris for a three-day journey to the Netherlands.

Jannes and Lore also have a theory that Van Gogh could have painted the picture to pay for his stay in the house which, rather than a lodging house, was possibly a brothel, Lore believes.

Meanwhile, Ghent University is interested in analysing the painting, as the pigments used could help to date it.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at