An Art Critic, Wouter Van Der Veen, Has Found A Place In France Depicted In Van Gogh's Last Painting
Art researcher Wouter van der Veen discovered the place that was depicted in his last painting by the post-impressionist Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).
Van der Veen, who is the Director of the non-profit Association "van Gogh Institute," made his discovery during the analysis of archival photos of the commune of Auvers-Sur-Oise and its surroundings, where van Gogh spent his last days.
Previously, it was believed that on the day when the artist committed suicide, he went to the field behind the castle of Auvers-Sur-Oise.
One of the photos taken in 1910 on the Rue Daubigny aroused the art critic's special interest: the photo of a man standing with his back to the camera showed a hill entangled with tree roots, similar to the one that van Gogh depicted in his painting shortly before his death. The researcher compared the pattern of roots with that on the unfinished work of the great post-impressionist "Roots" (1890) and concluded that they are extremely similar. He turned to experts at the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, who, after five weeks of checks, confirmed van der Veen's guess.
After lifting the quarantine, the art critic immediately went to the place, which, as it turned out, is located 150 meters from the hotel where van Gogh lived. A 104-year-old local woman helped him identify this place from a photograph. She told how she used to drive a flock of sheep along this road in her youth.
"This means that I found out where he spent the day on July 27 and lifted the veil of secrecy over the circumstances of his death," the researcher said. He described his discovery in a book that was published in open access on the Internet.
On July 28, at the hotel "Oberg Ravu," where the painter lived, a solemn ceremony was held with the participation of experts from the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and representatives of the Dutch Embassy, as well as Vincent-Willem van Gogh - the great-grandson of the artist's brother Theo. The conclusions of the experts were presented at the ceremony. On July 29, representatives of the city administration of Auvers-Sur-Oise, as well as relatives of van Gogh, plan to lay flowers at the grave of the great post-impressionist.