|Painting attributed to Vincent Van Gogh, Antwerp 1886
Please refer to Letter #447 - Antwerp 28 January 1886
Composite x-ray by McCrone Associates, Inc.
LODOX Statscan technology at Creighton University Medical Center
Forensic Photography by Key Light Studio
Old Woman in the Forest
Medium and Support: Oil on cotton canvas(47 threads pr in)
Dimensions: 20"x16" or 51cm x 40.5cm
Attributed artist: Vincent van Gogh
The artist's initials "V" "G" are being traced by the old woman with her cane in the ground in front of her the pigment appears to be vermilion.
Dedication: M. Chiron
The dedication refers to the old woman's husband. The artist dedicated the picture to him. The husband is the person in the Vincent van Gogh portrait "The Old Man" executed December 7-8, 1885 and owned by the Van Gogh Museum. (VVG letters 438 and 439) The old man with the head of Victor Hugo was born December 14th. He is a Sagittarius and Civil War Veteran. (Please refer to the Battle of Gettysburg and Vincent's work as titled by de la Faille.) Chiron in Greek mythology became the constellation Sagittarius.
Location: Antwerp The location "Antwerp" Rotate the canvas 90 degrees clockwise to read. "ANTWERP" letters are written in totem pole fashion.
The red pigment "86" date is located in the distant trees at the right.
Pigment Analysis: October 30, 2003 McCrone Associates, Inc. report dated 20 February 2004. McCrone analysis confirmed all pigments are consistent with the artists palette in 1886.
Report samples No. 2 and No.15 both ground samples. No. 2 is white ground foreground consisting of lead white, emerald green, chrome yellow and barium sulfate.
No. 15 is the yellow pigment exposed in the tree cracks consisting of zinc white, chrome yellow, and barium sulfate.
The Van Gogh Museum in the exhibition article, 29 April 2002 "Van Gogh down to the Micrometer" examined four paintings from 1885 "The Old Man" to 1887 "Sunflowers Run to Seed". The examination report acknowledges the artist's constant experiments with materials and techniques. The artist purchased new bright colors in Antwerp and emerald green was one of these (P8). Emerald green is present in this painting.
The same article (P12pr7&9English) states the artist's used barium sulfate in his ground.
The article (P12pr7English) states "As far as we know, this type of ground, containing almost exclusively barium sulfate is highly unusual.... the earliest example of a barite ground..." The article continues, (P12pr9English) "The brown paint layer in this sample was found to contain many barite particles, besides a lot of different colors including vermilion, chrome yellow, artificial ultramarine and organic red and brown pigments."
The ground used under the tree pigment to the far right with cracked pigment contains zinc white. Zinc white dried slow. Therefore, the trees have identifying cracks similar to the paintings noted in the Van Gogh Museum exhibition article.
The ultraviolet examination of the painting confirms no recent additions or changes to the painting as documented by the McCrone Associates, Inc. review and report. The ultraviolet image by a Key Light Studio supports the review and reveals additional figures. These figures include the artist's self-portrait wearing a straw hat on a tree directly to the left of the old woman.
The reverse of the ultraviolet image shows the artist's name VINCENT on the log in front of the old woman in the forest.
This image also reveals a large dog or wolf behind the old woman.
Additional underlying images via digital radiographs
Portrait view - Man in a cap with a workman's apron.
Landscape view - Two men wrestling (see reverse of canvas) VVG letter 447 & 458a excerpts from other publications about Vincent and his art studies of wrestlers and Venus de Milo collected and published in English by R. G. Harrison on CD-Rom.
Landscape view - Venus de Milo figure with large hips (see reverse of canvas)
Two radiographs of the "Old Woman in the Forest" The painting was examined on two different occasions using two different types of digital radiography revealing the same underlying image results.
The first x-ray analysis and creation of a composite x-ray was by the McCrone Associates, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois on October 30, 2003 utilizing digital x-ray at an area head and spinal cord trauma center. McCrone Associates, Inc. then created a composite x-ray from the 6 digital films.
The second x-ray analysis was completed at Creighton University Medical Center on April 30, 2004. The Lodox Statscan was utilized to create one complete Statscan film of the entire painting eliminating the need for a composite. A forensic photographer used the Statscan film to create a digital image file and photograph on June 23, 2004. The Statscan results were superior in the second x-ray primarily because of the elimination of the composite x-ray.
Brush stroke and technique The old womans hands are modeled with red like Rubens -VVG letter 439. The old woman's hands appear in position similar to the Mona Lisa, but holding a cigarette. The cigarette is clearly visible in the ultraviolet photograph. The artist technique is similar to F354, JH1270 for tree leaves and stroke similar for the costumes. The stroke and technique is similar to F45 JH959 for the tree bark.
The review of the painting based upon M. M. van Dantzig, Vincent van Gogh pictology specialist methodology was utilized with the painting showing 92% of the artists characteristics. The minimum percentage to confirm a Vincent van Gogh with his technique is 76%.
Provenance will be furnished to the qualified buyer.
Text written & Copyright June 8, 2006 Janet Gwendolyn Smith
This picture is for sale by owner.
All x-rays are copyright 2004 Janet Gwendolyn Smith
Copyright 2004-2019 Janet Gwendolyn Smith Art