In 2021, it’s rare to stumble upon a work by Vincent van Gogh that had not previously been identified, but researchers recently discovered some early drawings hidden in one of the Dutch artist’s books. Now to be seen in the context of Here to stay In the Van Gogh Museum, the newly discovered bookmark has been hidden for around 135 years and dates from autumn 1881, when the artist was in his late twenties and lived in his parents’ village Etten.
The pencil sketches depicting three individual figures in a vertical line were found in the artist’s copy Histoire d’un Paysan, an illustrated novel by Emile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian that describes the French Revolution from the perspective of a farmer in Alsace. Van Gogh sent the book, which he first inscribed with his name, to his friend and artist colleague Anthon van Rappard in 1883 and said: “I think you will find the Erckmann-Chatrian beautiful.”
Van Rappard sat for a drawn portrait with van Gogh not long after receiving the novel, which was in the family of van Rappard’s wife, until the Van Gogh Museum bought it in 2019. Despite their friendship, the two fell out in 1885 after van Rappard criticized the lithograph.The potato eaters“(1885).
The discovery will be seen along with artifacts and other works of art acquired by the Amsterdam Museum in the past decade through September 12 (via Artnet)
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