National Galleries of Scotland Discovers Hidden Self-Portrait of Van Gogh

Submitted by edg on Fri, 15 Jul '22 11.44am
Video clip

The National Galleries of Scotland have made a "major discovery", a hidden self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh.

The shadowy portrait was discovered hidden on the back of another painting in its collection, "Head of a Peasant Woman", during an x-ray.

It was quite normal for Van Gogh as an impoverished artist to paint on both sides of the canvas. The portrait side of the canvas was hidden, up until now, due to it being covered up by a sheet of cardboard.

In the video, from the National Galleries of Scotland, Senior Paintings Conservator Lesley Stevenson talks about the discovery: "To have an image as elusive as it is, is something very special," she says.

Before the discovery, the National Galleries had three works by Van Gogh in its collection.

"And then suddenly we have potentially another, which is probably the most exciting one of all," says Francis Fowle, Senior Curator.