Antonio De Robertis vs il Museo Van Gogh

Article translated with Google | The Italian scholarly, one of the greatest scholars of the life and works of the painter Vincent Van Gogh, Antonio De Robertis, in disagreement with the choices of the Gogh Museum intervenes on three topics:

1) The exhibition of sunflowers entitled Van Gogh and the Girasoli going on until September 1st 2019 at the Van Gogh Museum, it is easy for visitors to observe also the back of the famous painting. Examining the work from this special “point of view” one can in fact notice the presence of a strip of wood which, as the museum claims, was added by van Gogh himself to reach the available pictorial surface. On the contrary, Antonio De Robertis claims that the canvas has been tampered with by the forger C.E. Schuffenecker.

Here I read the articles with his express several times his opinion contrary to that of the Museum:

2) The decision taken by the museum to dare a work a double title, renaming it “Vincent van Gogh, Self-portrait or Portrait of Theo van Gogh, 1887”

3) The pistol sold at auction a few days ago at a good 162,500 euros. The estimated value of the collector’s item was around 40,000-60,000 and 20,000 euros starting price.

At the Van Gogh museum a show is halved and distorted on sunflowers

by Antonio De Robertis

“At the Van Gogh museum a show is being halved and distorted on sunflowers … They do not say what happened to the 3 versions of sunflowers from 14 (so called, although in fact there are 15 sunflowers), between the end of 1900 and beginning of 1901 … Two of the three versions, Amsterdam and Tokyo, are on a collision course with Vincent’s fiercest counterfeiter ever: CE Schuffenecker, who changes its connotations, without everyone’s knowledge, if it is true that I exposed him in 1993.

But the museum is careful to bring up this story, which will forever mark its future destiny.

Everything revolves around the 6 labels of the Pottier company, affixed and numbered by Theo behind the 6 paintings sent on 3 January 1890, to Brussels for the annual exhibition of the “Les XX” group, of which only one was saved, due to restoration and change of frames intervened in the meantime (photo 1).

photo n. 1

We come to know of the presence of the labels from a bubble of the Père Tanguy shop, dated April 1894, written by Andries Bonger, Theo’s brother-in-law, which lists Vincent’s last paintings, left there in stock. Among these is the painting Peupliers , one of the 6 sent to the XX, with the notation that he had the number 9 in that exhibition (evidently he had read it on the label behind on the frame). From a list of Theo’s widow of the paintings sent to Paris to Julien Leclercq dated 8 October 1901, we know that Amsterdam sunflowers had No. 4 at the XX exhibition. So we know that Theo had numbered the 6 labels from 4 to 9, reserving those from 1 to 3 for two Cézanne paintings, deposited by Tanguy and for the loan of a painting by Odilon Redon of his personal collection. The Van Gogh museum has never done a detailed study to find out which two versions of the 2 pairs of 12 and 14 sunflowers were sent to the XX (photo 2).

photo n. 2

I remedied myself, working on 2 fronts, following the chain of labels and the fact that Theo had sent to the XX the 2 versions of 12 and 14 sunflowers to which Vincent had made a first strip frame that Theo had left, adding the final one flat and white. A few days ago the Van Gogh museum for the first time issued some photos of the back of his painting of the 14 sunflowers, from which it is clear that around the frame there is the little frame that Vincent had prepared (photo 3).

photo n. 3

photo n. 4

So this is the first of the 2 paintings sent to the XX in January 1890. Another important detail, the presence at the top and in the middle of a label of the same size as those used by the Pottier company, which appears however cut and hidden by another overlapping (photo 4).

Then attached to the upper horizontal frame there is nailed a painted strip to widen the picture. This intervention cannot have been done by Vincent, as the museum declares, but later by another. We now know who he is, after my meticulous investigations, which led to the famous article on the third page of the Corriere della Sera, published January 27, 1994. It is the most famous forger of Van Gogh, CESchuffenecker, author of at least 30 copies false, which tampered with the sunflowers between the end of 1900 and the beginning of 1901, after the widow Van Gogh had sent them to Paris to Julien Leclercq for a restoration. Schuffenecker had previously, in March 1894, purchased the 12 sunflower version from the widow now in Philadelphia through the mediation of the widow Tanguy. This is the second picture sent to the XX (photo 5).

Photo n. 5, from the left Filadelfia, Amsterdam, Tokio

He also had Vincent’s little strip frame and the Pottier label, which he now no longer has, because Schuffenecker also tampered with this painting, exactly in 1896, before selling it to his friend Count Antoine de la Rochefoucauld, through the gallery of Ambroise Vollard. Basically he removed the canvas from the frame and the original frames, including the label (photo 6), replanting them only for the upper horizontal part in another version of 14 sunflowers, called Yasuda and now in Tokyo, transforming and enlarging what was a copy made by Paul Gauguin in May 1889, with the consent of Theo but unaware of Vincent, in a diabolical forgery, remained hidden for 104 years and unmasked by me in 1993 (photos 7, 8, 9).

Unfortunately it happened that in the meantime on March 30th 1987 this painting was sold at Christie’s auction for about 50 million dollars, the highest figure ever paid for a painting until then, to the Japanese insurance company Yasuda. The Van Gogh museum had exhibited itself to guarantee the authenticity of the work and in 1992 Yasuda undertook to build the new wing of the museum at zero cost, finished in June 1999. This was so embarrassing that the museum has organized 2 symposia, the first in London on May 15th 1998 and the second in Amsterdam, between 7th and 9th March 2002, not reaching any evident result, except to isolate myself completely, to the point that I am was banned from all the social media channels of the museum and I had to make 2 blitzes of protest inside and outside the museum, to try to make known and be able to discuss a whole series of my discoveries, which would revolutionize the current status of knowledge on the life and work of Van Gogh. Now the measure is full, because the last exhibition on the stories of sunflowers omits the initial question concerning the tampering of Schuffenecker, which are by now historic. ized by me and an important part of world criticism. “

A new name for Van Gogh’s self-portrait that could actually be brother Theo

“Vincent van Gogh, Self-portrait, 1887” (left) and “Vincent van Gogh, Self-portrait or Portrait of Theo van Gogh, 1887” (right). Pictures from the Van Gogh Museum

The brothers are constantly confused, and Vincent and Theo van Gogh are not very different from each other. For years, it was felt that the two paintings are self-portraits of the famous post-impressionist artist. One shows the subject in a felt hat, while the other depicts the painter with a straw hat. Art experts later changed their mind, believing that one of the paintings was by his younger brother.

Now, another theory indicates the identities of both portraits that are confused for the other.

Sjraar van Heugten – guest curator of the next Inner Circle: Friends, Family, Models by Van Gogh at the Noordbrabants Museum in s’Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands – is convinced that the man with the straw hat is Vincent van Gogh, while the person in the felt hat is his brother Theo. Van Heugten had the revelation looking at the eyes of the subjects.

His theory challenges one that dates back to 2011. Eight years ago, Louis van Tilborgh, senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and an expert on the Van Gogh period in Paris, argued that the painter was dressed in a felt hat while his brother was paired with the informal-looking straw hat. This concept surprised art lovers as Theo, on the other hand, was a distinguished art dealer and would have to wear a relatively formal felt hat.

Van Tilborgh believed that the brothers exchanged hats “as a joke”, reasoning that Theo’s beard was ocher and neatly cut, which was evident in the subject with the straw hat. The hair on Vincent’s face, on the other hand, was more red-orange and probably more flaky, as shown in the portrait of the felt hat. Looking at the photos of Theo, he discovered that Theo’s rounder ears matched those of the straw hat portrait, while many of Vincent’s self-portraits painted the artist with fleshy ears.

However, Van Heugten now thinks differently. He tells The Art Newspaper that it would be inconvenient for Vincent van Gogh to paint his brother in “careless summer clothing” while portraying himself as a “respectable gentleman”. Moreover, Theo had light gray-blue eyes, evident in the most elegant portrait, while Vincent often painted himself with green, bluish or dark, but never bluish eyes like those of the man with the felt hat portrait.

De Robertis’ answer: In the buttons the secret of Van Gogh’s self-portraits
The Italian scholar Antonio De Robertis intervenes in the controversy that broke out in recent days between the Van Gogh museum and one of its former officials and denies both Louis Van Tilborgh, senior researcher of the museum, who in 2011 had ‘corrected’ the self-portrait with straw hat of 1887 considering it a portrait of his brother Theo made by Vincent Van Gogh, both Sijraar Van Heugten, ex-manager of the collections of the Van Gogh Museum and autonomous curator, who in the past few days said that we must take a step back and that if anything Theo is to be found in the other contemporary self-portrait with felt hat. “They both mistake – says De Robertis – because in the two paintings it is clear that the jacket has buttons on the left, because the image is mirrored. Van Gogh had the habit of retracting himself in the mirror and consequently both are without any doubt self-portraits ”. De Robertis also claims to have “already mentioned the matter to Van Tilborgh, during a meeting on 5 July 2017, but nothing had happened”.
“The pistol with which Van Gogh committed suicide was sold at the auction for € 162 thousand”: the doubts of De Robertis

Auction Art auction house, at the Hotel Drouot in Paris, a very special find: the gun with which Vincent Van Gogh committed suicide. It is a Lefaucheux revolver that was discovered in 1965 by a farmer who found it in the same field where Van Gogh was found wounded on 27 July 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise (Val-d’Oise). After the find, the gun was delivered to the owner of the Ravoux hotel in Auvers-sur-Oise where the impressionist artist died on July 29, 1890, two days after he was seriously injured.

The weapon was sold at the selling price of 162,500 euros, triple the estimated initial value of around 50,000 euros. To buy it, by phone, he was a hypothetical private collector whose identity is unknown.

In 2012, the weapon was presented for the first time with the nickname “the most famous weapon in the history of art” in the context of the publication of the book Aurait-on retrouvé the weapon du suicide? by Alain Rohan and then exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2016. Although its authentication will never be formally established, its provenance is still trusted by Dutch experts. The gun, in fact, is a 7mm, just the same caliber as the gun that had caused the pain to the painter.

“The most disturbing aspect – says De Robertis – is that the Lefaucheux revolver was found in 1965 by a farmer, 75 years after the day when Van Gogh committed suicide and was legitimized by the museum that exhibited it in an exhibition. However, regarding the find there are no witnesses and we must rely on the only item that is that of the farmer, who would have delivered it to the family that owned the Ravoux Hotel turned into a museum. At this point some doubts arise: “Why does the owner of a hotel transformed into a museum owner of a“ relic ”that would attract many people, sell such a precious object? And why has this revolver been talked about for only four or five years, or 50 years after the discovery? “




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