Saturday, August 04, 2007

Speaking of Van Gogh

The Ravine is not available online, so here's another Van Gogh:
Café Terrace at Night
Oil on canvas, 1888

A conservator at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts has discovered a "lost" Van Gogh painting; behind another painting, which he apparently painted over. Why did he do this?
In his early years, van Gogh often reused canvases or turned them over and painted on the other side to make the most of his limited funds. But by 1889, a year before his death, he was being supported by his brother. Van Gogh painted over "Wild Vegetation" not because he couldn't afford to buy another canvas but because Theo was slow to send along new canvases, according to MFA curator George Shackelford.

"He was so eager to paint that he wasn't willing to wait," said Shackelford. "We deduce he decided to sacrifice a picture, maybe of the ones that he had that he liked the least, and he painted straight over the very highly patterned design of the first canvas without introducing a layer of white. It's fantastically amazing."

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