By: Alvin Xu
Another of Van Gogh’s hidden self-portraits has been discovered at the National Galleries of Scotland! "Moments like this are incredibly rare," said Frances Fowle, a senior curator of French art, in a statement. "We have discovered an unknown work by Vincent Van Gogh, one of the most important and popular artists in the world."
The portrait was on the back of one of his famous paintings, Head of a Peasant Woman. Van Gogh used both sides of a canvas when he didn’t have much money, but some of the paintings on the backs of the original canvasses were covered up and lost.
The National Galleries of Scotland found the portrait through an X-ray. The museum said, "Hidden from view for over a century, the self-portrait is on the back of the canvas with Head of a Peasant Woman and is covered by layers of glue and cardboard.”
Everybody in the National Galleries of Scotland was very excited. "When we saw the X-ray for the first time of course we were hugely excited. Such a major discovery happens once, twice in a conservator's lifetime. To have an image as elusive as it presently is something very, very special." Lesley Steveson, a conservator at the museum, said in a video posted on social media by the museum.
The museum says the portrait looks like a "bearded sitter in a brimmed hat with a neckerchief loosely tied at the throat. He fixes the viewer with an intense stare, the right side of his face in shadow and his left ear clearly visible."
People might think that it’s impossible to uncover the self-portrait, but you can still see it, though not very clearly. The museum will use a special lightbox to show the X-ray of the self-portrait.
This truly amazing hidden self-portrait might not be the last hidden drawing of Van Gogh’s to be found. This isn’t the first one that a museum discovered, either. Other hidden drawings like this one have been discovered before, including some at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.