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New Van Gogh Drawing Identified

The study for 'Worn Out' will be on display at the Van Gogh Museum until 2022
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2021 3:01 AM CDT
New Van Gogh Drawing Identified
The Study for "Worn Out", a drawing by Dutch master Vincent van Gogh, dated Nov. 1882, goes on public display for the first time at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

(Newser) – The world has a new Vincent van Gogh work, or at least a newly identified one. A pencil drawing of an old man, determined to be an earlier version of Van Gogh's "Worn Out," has been authenticated by Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum as a work of the Dutch post-impressionist, the Guardian reports. Drawn in late 1882 when Van Gogh was 29, the 19x12-inch sheet of watercolor paper features a carpenter's pencil sketch of Adrianus Jacobus Zuyderland. Two years into working as an artist and striving to become a magazine illustrator so he could make more money, Van Gogh was at the time finding people from the Dutch Reformed Old Men’s and Women’s House who were willing to sit as models.

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Zuyderland's is one of the only models whose name is known; Van Gogh apparently favored him as a subject and ultimately drew the local laborer more than 40 times, Artnet News reports. "Today and yesterday I drew two figures of an old man with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands," Van Gogh wrote of the study in a letter to his brother. "Perhaps I’ll do a lithograph of it. What a fine sight an old working man makes, in his patched bombazine suit with his bald head."

The drawing, which was coated with a milk-and-water-based fixative, has been in a private collection since 1910. A senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum tells the BBC it's "absolutely impossible" to estimate its value. The museum gets hundreds of requests each year to look at artwork that owners believe might be Van Gogh works, but very rarely is one found to actually be a Van Gogh. The museum, which has "Worn Out" in its collection, will display the study alongside the finished version until January 2, then return it to its owner. "Showing Study for ‘Worn Out’ in the context of these other works offers us a special insight into Van Gogh’s working process," the senior researcher says. (Read more Vincent Van Gogh stories.)

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