Credit: The Van Gogh Museum

130 years ago, a drawing was made by the famous impressionist master, Vincent Van Gogh, and now 130 years later it’s been discovered once again in Amsterdam.

The new drawing depicts a man hunched over with his head in his hands. The Van Gogh Museum has confirmed that it is an authentic Van Gogh work due to its unique characteristics.

The piece was found in a private collection where it has resided since the early 20th century. Its current owner is a descendent of the original owners from the 1900s and their identity has remained anonymous. It was this owner who approached the museum to determine if the piece was a legitimate Van Gogh.

Credit: The Van Gogh Museum

The piece has been sketched with pencil on paper and has been dated to 1882. Van Gogh was living in The Hague at the time and completed the very similar Worn Out drawing that same year. This drawing seems likely to be a preliminary study for Worn Out whose own origins proved to be something of an enigma until now.

Teio Meedendorp, a senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum, told ArtNews that, “In stylistic terms, it fits perfectly with the many figure studies we know from Van Gogh’s time in The Hague, and the connection with Worn out is obvious.”

Another factor confirming the piece as an original is the materials used which are in line with what Van Gogh used during his time at The Hague. These include a thick carpenter’s pencil, watercolour paper, and most importantly, a fixing agent made from milk and water which are all characteristic of Van Gogh’s early work.

Meedendorp added, “There are traces of damage in the corners on the back of the drawing, which we can link to the way Van Gogh customarily attached sheets of paper to his drawing board using wads of starch.”

Meedendorp also was able to identify the model as well, Adrianus Jacobus Zuyderland, a local labourer. Van Gogh drew this man over 40 times serving as the basis for famous paintings like Sorrowful Old Man and At Eternity’s Gate (1882).

This new drawing is currently on display with the finished Worn Out and will continue to be until Jan. 2, 2022.