A newly found sketchbook of “dazzling” drawings by Vincent Van Gogh has recently been discovered. On Friday, Atlas Obscura reported the discovery, as well as the announcement that in November, French publisher Seuil will be publishing a book including all of these previously unseen, “stunning” drawings. Previous to these newly found drawings, only about 1,000 other Van Gogh drawings are known to be in existence.
Bernard Comment, from Seuil enthusiastically spoke to AFP about the discovery and subsequent book, revealing very few details except that the found sketchbook has more than ten drawings and declared that the artwork is “dazzling” and ”stunning.”
“This sketchbook was known only to the owners, myself and the publisher.”
The book entitled Vincent Van Gogh, Le Brouillard d’Arles, will include the recently discovered artwork by the Dutch post-Impressionist master. The title translated to English is “The Fog of Arles.” The publisher had been aware of the existence of the prized sketchbook for “a little over a year.” Since that time, experts have authenticated the sketches. As works by Vincent Van Gogh are highly prized and often go into the millions of dollars at auctions, his work is often forged. The publisher made sure that there was no question that the sketchbook is 100 percent authentic.
“No further information will be divulged until the world press conference to be held in Paris in mid-November 2016 on the eve of the book’s arrival in bookstores in the various countries.”
While Comment did not reveal much more information about the drawings, we can safely assume that based on the title these drawing are from the short period of time between 1888-1889 that the Dutch artist lived in Arles, a small town in southern Provence. During this period of time that Van Gogh lived in this French region, he painted over 20o paintings. Inspired by the warm weather, almond trees blooming, and scenery, Van Gogh was painting non-stop. The incredible masterpieces he created in Arles include The Starry Night(officially Starry Night over the Rhone), Café de Nuit and The Sunflowers. Legend has it that the magical mistral winds of Arles is what pushed him to create such tremendous quantities of innovative work.
Sadly, this is also the region where Van Gogh’s mental health declined. He spent two periods of time at the Arles hospital. There, Van Gogh painted the hospital courtyard, his attending nurses, and his physician.
Arles is also where legend had it that Van Gogh infamously cut off his left ear and handed it to a prostitute that he was deeply infatuated with. While Van Gogh painted a self-portrait of himself with his ear all bandaged up, the real story of how his ear was cut has now been disputed. ABC reported that two German historians, Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans, wrote a book stating that it was French painter Paul Gauguin that in fact lobbed off Van Gogh’s ear with a sword when the two painters were in a heated fight. Gauguin was a fencing enthusiast and the two often argued. Based on their thorough research, the historians determined that Van Gogh was in fact protecting his friend Gauguin in a “pact of silence.” Had Van Gogh told the truth, Gauguin would have been prosecuted, jailed, and the art world could possibly have never been the same. Instead, Van Gogh kept his silence, as his first letter to Gaugin, post fight, stated.
“I will keep quiet about this and so will you.”
Vincent Van Gogh committed suicide on July 29, 1890. He died completely broke and unknown. it was not until Irving Stone’s novel Lust for Life was released that Van Gogh’s contributions to art became widely acknowledged. Stone based the book on the letters between Vincent and his brother Theo, who financed and emotionally supported his brother’s artwork.
Vincent Van Gogh, Le Brouillard d’Arles will initially be published in France, the Netherlands, United States, Britain, Germany, and Japan, and eventually in other countries. Seuil did not reveal the cost of the book nor any of the publishing details such as actual size of the book or paper quality. Fans of the artist can assume that this book will be released with quality and care, as this will be a major release in the world of art.
[Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]