Experts dispelled the perennial doubts about the authenticity of the painting by Van Gogh.


The still life of the San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts (FAMSF), which many experts considered fake, was attributed to the experts of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and dated in the autumn of 1886.

 Vincent van Gogh “Still Life with Fruits and Chestnuts”. 1886. Photo: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The inscription on the back of the “Still Life with Fruit and Chestnuts” (oil on canvas) reads: “Nature mort, paint par Vincent van Gogh” (“Still Life written by Vincent van Gogh”). The picture was donated to the museum in 1960 by Californian collectors Bruno and Sadie Adriani. However, due to doubts about its authenticity, caused by colors that were unusual for that time, it mostly collected dust in the storeroom and was not included in the authoritative catalog of Van Gogh’s reason.

Now the experts of the Van Gogh Museum have confirmed that the canvas and colors correspond to those used by the artist. Infrared reflectography also helped to reveal that there is another image under the still life (presumably a female figure) – a common practice for an eternally impoverished painter, forced to save even on brushes and paints. Stylistically, the picture fits into a series of still lifes created by van Gogh in Paris from October to December 1886. Studies of the Amsterdam Museum traced the provenance of work to the inventory of 1890, made shortly after the artist’s death, and confirmed the sale of the canvas in 1899 to an art dealer in Paris, Ambroise Vollard.

In the exposition of the Legion of Honor, one of the two FAMSF museums, the picture was previously exhibited only with a note about the possible authorship of van Gogh. She also participated in an exhibition at the Wallraf – Richartz Museum in Cologne in 2012, organized by Barbara Schaefer – she was convinced that this is the real Van Gogh.

Shtedelevsky Art Institute in Frankfurt is going to ask for a canvas for an exhibition of works by van Gogh acquired by German collectors of the twentieth century (Sadie Adriani was among them). The exposition “The Creation of Van Gogh. A love story for an artist in Germany ”will open in October.