Secret van Gogh self-portrait discovered using X-ray

You’ll need X-ray vision to see the new Vincent van Gogh.

Art curators at the National Galleries of Scotland found a self-portrait of the famous artist that had been hidden for centuries, according to Storyful.

“Moments like this are incredibly rare,” said Professor Frances Fowle, senior curator of French art at the National Galleries of Scotland.

The self-portrait shows van Gogh, who cut off his left ear in 1888, in a brimmed hat with his ear still intact — a clue this may have been created in his early days.

The portrait was found while using an X-ray to perform an inspection on Van Gogh’s “Head of a Peasant Woman” for the Edinburgh gallery’s summer exhibition, entitled “A Taste for Impressionism.”

A new Van Gogh painting was discovered using an X-ray.
NY post Photo Composite
Van Gogh's self portrait
The portrait was found on the back of one of his paintings.
National Galleries Scotland via
The back of a Van Gogh canvas
The back of Van Gogh’s painting “Head of a Peasant Woman.”
National Galleries Scotland via
Van Gogh's "Head of a Peasant Woman”
The “Head of a Peasant Woman” was painted in 1885.
National Galleries Scotland via

It was on the back of the painting covered in thick layers of cardboard and glue, according to the galleries. This was a practice Van Gogh was known for, as he chose to save money and paint on the other side of his canvases instead of painting over his other paintings.

Whether or not the gallery can separate the artist’s portrait from his painting is still up for debate. Experts think it can be done but will take a lot of time and patience to prevent ruining what’s on the other side.

A woman examining Van Gogh's two paintings.
The portrait was called “thrilling” to be discovered.
National Galleries Scotland via
A painting sitting on an easel
The portrait will be on display at the gallery’s summer exhibition.
National Galleries Scotland via
An art examining table
Experts say it will take a long time to remove the portrait from the painting.
National Galleries Scotland via

The National Galleries are planning to keep the portrait in their possession as Fowle said it is, “an incredible gift for Scotland, and one that will forever be in the care of the National Galleries.” 

She said it will be shown in their summer exhibition which will be taking place from July 30 to November 13, 2022.

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