Two years ago, a newly discovered book containing 65 drawings attributed to Vincent van Gogh was dismissed by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam as a complete fake. The finder of the manuscript was not surprised since museum authenticators were already known as notoriously hard to please. They had removed a previously authenticated Van Gogh drawing from their own collection back in 2001, because it did not match what they considered his signature style.
But now that rejected drawing from 2001 is on display once again, at the Singer Loren Museum in the Netherlands. It is hanging alongside a newly discovered drawing that was definitively attributed to Van Gogh, and which was done in the exact same style, on the exact same paper, and around the exact same time. In light of the discovery of this new drawing, the Van Gogh Museum has retracted its earlier dismissal, accepting irrefutable evidence that the newly discovered work can be traced back to Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, who was custodian over the work of Van Gogh after he died.So will this reversal mean the Van Gogh Museum will also reappraise that dubious 65-drawing sketchbook it previously dismissed? Unlikely. Both the newly discovered drawing and the one rejected back in 2001 are of exceptional quality. Even if the 65 sketches are authentic, they were done quickly and amateurishly. There is nothing for the museum to gain by their acceptance
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