Filed under: Art
When Rupert Murdoch's father, Keith Murdoch, staged a contemporary art exhibit in Australia in 1939, Vincent Van Gogh's "Head of a Man" was on display. It was later purchased by Australia's National Gallery of Victoria for $3,500 and has been a part of their collection ever since. However, last August, when the painting was shown at the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland, critics noticed something wasn't right. The work, dated 1886, appeared to be of a different style than other Van Gogh paintings during the same period. What's more, the painting was never mentioned in the artist's letters.
"Head of a Man" was then sent to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam where experts have now declared it to be a fake. Gerard Vaughan, director of the National Gallery of Victoria, says the painting was most likely the work of a Van Gogh contemporary and makes clear that the painting was simply misattributed, not a deliberate forgery. Had the painting been authentic, it would have been valued at around $21 million.