Vincent van Gogh … Does an Englishman have an unknown Van Gogh …?

To come across a painting one day quite unexpectedly and to think that you have in your possession a work of art by a famous artist – Van Gogh for example, or Picasso, or – well you can insert any famous artist’s name here – is something wonderful. In 2010 this was exactly what happened […]

To come across a painting one day quite unexpectedly and to think that you have in your possession a work of art by a famous artist – Van Gogh for example, or Picasso, or – well you can insert any famous artist’s name here – is something wonderful.

In 2010 this was exactly what happened to Englishman Adrian Spong, expert art historian, collector, and dealer, when he bought a five-painting lot from an auctioneer.

I wrote about this here on this website on September 17, 2017, as Mr Spong had contacted me about what he had found among those five paintings he had bought.    (I had done quite a bit of writing about artists, which he had come across on the Web.)

What Mr Spong had found were two artworks by Vincent van Gogh.

Or to be precise, what his expert eye and indeed his knowledge told him could not have been executed by any other artist than Vincent van Gogh.

One was an oil on paper painting and the other was a pencil sketch.

Indeed, both were unsigned.

The oil on paper painting was weird, as Mr Spong himself says.   It is a religious painting of a dying woman lying in a bed and around her are several male figures. 

The pencil sketch is of a semi-reclining nude woman.

Mr Spong named the painting of the dying woman Death of the Virgin, and the pencil sketch Semi-Reclining Nude.

His knowledge of Vincent Van Gogh’s life and of his art, along with research he then carried out, comparing the Dutch artist’s stylistic characteristics to those of the creator of the two artworks in his possession, left no doubt in his mind that he did indeed have two Van Goghs in his possession.

I wrote in detail with pictures about Mr Spong’s conclusion in the September 17, 2017 report on my website mentioned above, so I will not repeat what I had then written.

 This piece is about three videos Mr. Spong has now issued in which he further delves into the Death of the Virgin painting. (He does not include The Reclining Nude in these three videos.)

The three can be viewed below, and the first runs for 7 mins and the other two for 10 mins each. (The second link refuses to be in blue, but it will open nonetheless I assure.)

I urge you to watch these as no words that I could possibly write here could explain to you in a more comprehensive way about Mr Spong’s belief that The Death of the Virgin was executed by Vincent van Gogh.

I will just say to you that, yes, this painting is not at all like Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ or his ‘Night Café’ for example, but he did go through a disturbing religious phase when undergoing treatment for mental instability.  ( My admiration for Vincent stops me from calling it insanity.)

Mr Spong does ask at the end of each video for those interested in his discovery to contact him, and he gives his contact details.   I will though just say that he is contactable at aspong1@gmail.com

For an unsigned painting, as these two are, to be recognised as by a certain artist is very hard to accomplish: almost impossible to accomplish.  As far as Vincent van Gogh’s artworks are concerned only the Van Gogh Foundation, based at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, can authenticate a painting as by Vincent van Gogh.  Until now they have refused to listen to Mr Spong.  This is not unusual as on several occasions they have refused to study an artwork which when they were finally compelled to do so through public demand, had then authenticated it as a Van Gogh.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

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