Van Gogh 'Self Portrait' Really His Brother

Museum uncovers only known painting of Theo Van Gogh
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2011 4:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Vincent Van Gogh's younger brother Theo was his closest ally, and many found it strange that the artist never painted him. Researchers at the Van Gogh Museum, however, now believe that an 1887 painting long thought to have been one of Vincent's dozens of self-portraits is actually a portrait of Theo, reports the Telegraph. The biggest clue is the ears, and not because of the number, researchers say.

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In the work the museum now calls Portrait of Theo Van Gogh—painted before Vincent cut one of his ears off—the subject has shorter, rounder ears than Vincent and a darker-colored goatee. Theo, an art dealer who once shared an apartment in Paris with his brother, died six months after Vincent shot himself in 1890. The museum also says its researchers have also determined that the bird in the work Wheatfield with a Lark is actually a partridge. (Read more Vincent Van Gogh stories.)

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