For the first time in five years, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has added a new piece to its collection—and it looks a little different from your standard Vincent van Gogh. This one is an 1882 watercolor whose tones are much darker than those the artist later adopted. The painting shows what van Gogh called a "lonely and melancholy" dead willow leaning over a pond near the Hague. The young artist immediately wanted to paint it: "I'm going to attack it tomorrow morning," he wrote to his brother.
"What's so special is it is for the first time a rather substantial work that he executes in color," the museum's director tells the AP. The museum acquired the painting at a London auction for $1.9 million. "It's a very elaborate, well done watercolor and that's quite extraordinary in this period of van Gogh's oeuvre," says a curator. "Out of the blue, in the summer, in July, he makes a series of watercolors ... with a lot of detail, but also very painterly, fluent."