Head of a Man is the name given to a $5 million Vincent Van Gogh portrait that was purchased in 1940. Only thing is now no one belives it is a Van Gogh. The Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum performed a 10-month investigation by scholars and has found the portrait was probably painted by a fellow student of Van Gogh in Antwerp or Paris in the mid 1880s. They are absolutely sure though that it is not a forgery since the work makes no attempt to directly mimic or pass itself off in a documented or established way as a Van Gogh.
Germaine Greer, a writer for the Guardian Unlimited has a theory that the work is a Rubens which I would think she is joking since Rubens is widely know for doing portraiture with almost no hard edges and voluminous features. Either way the work is now valued at a fraction of a fraction of it’s previous value and is being relabeled to reflect it’s now unknown creator.
I would like to personally throw my hat in the ring and say that I believe the portrait to be the product of Gavin Turk. After having seen his Warhol riffed “Piss Paintings” at the Armory I believe that his mimicking of past Masters has no limits and this is a 1800’s portrait of Turk with a rocking beard and a decade (for him) of hair growth.
That’s just my thought it could be a Thomas Kinkade for all I know.
Source: Paul Klein’s Art Letter
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