A Suspected Van Gogh is Now Authenticated
A small museum in the town of Zwolle, Netherlands, 70 miles east of Amsterdam is home to Vincent Van Gogh's most recently "discovered" creation. The painting had existed unauthenticated for years, due to the questionable reputation of its owner and his checkered past.
Now, the town of Zwolle and the Museum de Fundatie have a claim to fame, with "Le Blute-Fin Mill."(pictured right).
The life of "Le Blute-Fin Mill" will be inextricably linked to its former owner, an art collector and curator named Dirk Hannema. Hannema bought it in 1975 from an unsuspecting Paris art dealer for the equivalent of $2,700 and later insured the painting for around $43,000.
Upon his death in 1984, the entirety of Hannema's collection became the nucleus for the Museum de Fundatie.
Despite his dubious later years, initially, Hannema had showed great promise and at the age of 26, he was director of Rotterdam's famed Boijmans Museum.
In 1937, however, his credibility suffered greatly when he purchased a painting claimed to be a Vermeer, but was later confirmed to be a forgery. During World War II, the Nazis saw fit to put Hennema in charge of all the museums in Holland. After the war, he was arrested as a collaborator and stood trial, but was not convicted.
Throughout his life, Hannema gained a reputation as someone who was always trying to hit a home run, in constant search for that undetected gem from one of the great masters.
Some 26 years after his death, experts have finally confirmed, he connected on one ball that actually cleared the fence.
Not only is the painting original, but according to Louis van Tilborgh, curator of research at Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum, "Le Blute-Fin Mill" is an unusual addition to the artist's opus, due to the comparatively large size of the human figures in the scene.
It will remain on display through July 4th.