Tags: vincent van gogh | sketchbook | authenticity | disputed

Vincent Van Gogh Sketchbook Authenticity Disputed

Image: Vincent Van Gogh Sketchbook Authenticity Disputed

The book "Vincent Van Gogh: The Lost Arles Sketchbook." (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
 

By    |   Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 06:47 AM

The authenticity of a purported Vincent Van Gogh sketchbook discovered by a retired University of Toronto professor is being disputed by the museum dedicated to the renowned post-impressionist painter.

Art historian Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov, considered an international authority on Van Gogh, said she was visiting France in 2013 when local art scholar Franck Baillle asked her to examine a sketchbook that could contain some of the legendary artist's work, according to CBC News.

That work now is the basis of Welsh-Ovcharov's book "Vincent Van Gogh: The Lost Arles Sketchbook," which was released worldwide Tuesday.

"When I opened (the sketchbook) up, the first thing I said was, 'No, unbelievable,'" Welsh-Ovcharov told CBC News in an earlier interview. "The first drawing that I took out and held in my hands, it was a moment of total mystical experience: 'Oh my goodness, this is impossible.'"

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, though, disputed the authenticity of the sketchbook in a statement released on Tuesday. The museum also said it was asked to weigh in on the sketchbook in 2008 and 2012, something that was not included in Welsh-Ovcharov's book.

"Our researchers and curators are happy about every new work that can correctly be attributed to Van Gogh, but on the basis of high-quality photographs sent to them of 56 of the 65 drawings now published, they concluded that these could not be attributed to Vincent van Gogh," said the museum.

"After examining a number of the original drawings in 2013 and reading the recent publication, our experts have not changed their minds. Their opinion, based on years of research on Van Gogh's drawings in the museum's own collection and elsewhere – the Van Gogh Museum holds about 500 drawings by Van Gogh and four of his sketchbooks – is that the drawings in 'Vincent van Gogh: The Lost Arles Sketchbook' are imitations of Van Gogh's drawings."

Welsh-Ovcharov said that she spent three years tracking down the sketchbook's origins and believes she has "overwhelming evidence" of its true nature, said The Guardian.

"You're bringing out such a revolutionary discovery there's bound to be people giving their opinion," Welsh-Ovcharov said of the destractors. "There are going to be different views and dialogues."

She claimed that Joseph and Marie Ginoux, the owners of the French Cafe de la Gare in Arles, gave Van Gogh the sketchbook in 1888 and he toured the Provençal countryside with it.

In a testimony written in the book, the owners of the sketchbook stated that their mother found it with a handwritten journal near the end of World War II and passed it along to them without any knowledge that it may be connected to Van Gogh, who died in 1890, said The Guardian.

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The authenticity of a purported Vincent Van Gogh sketchbook discovered by a retired University of Toronto professor is being disputed by the museum dedicated to the renowned post-impressionist painter.
vincent van gogh, sketchbook, authenticity, disputed
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2016-47-17
Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 06:47 AM
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