Van Gogh self-portrait found hidden behind painting

STORY: This Van Gogh self-portrait was found hidden behind this painting

Art conservators made the discovery during an x-ray examination

of the artist's 1885 artwork 'Head of a Peasant Woman'

The self-portrait was hidden behind cardboard and layers of glue

[Frances Fowle, Senior curator, National Galleries of Scotland]

"It was a Friday afternoon and I was standing outside the fish shop waiting to buy some sea bass. And I got a text from my colleague Leslie Stevenson. And I looked and she said, 'look what I've discovered.' And there was this x-ray of this mysterious figure, which I just looked at it, and you could tell immediately that it was it was a self-portrait. It was quite an amazing moment."

Van Gogh is known to have often re-used his canvases

working on their reverse as well

National Galleries of Scotland is looking into how to uncover the self-portrait

without damaging 'Head of a Peasant Woman'

[Lesley Stevenson, Senior paintings conservator, National Galleries of Scotland]

"Those images of the artist by the artist have a special quality. They're very enigmatic. They're giving us an insight into how they're thinking of themselves. And this time this was Van Gogh really exploring the whole art of self-portraiture for the very first time."

‘’Such a major discovery of an alternative composition happens once, twice in a conservator's lifetime."

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