A painting attributed to Vincent van Gogh, which the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has rejected, has sold at the German auction house Dechow for €550,000 (about $651,100). According to a report by Monopol, Dechow has not revealed the identity of the buyer.
The work, titled The Wijk Mill, was presented by Dechow as one of the earliest surviving oil paintings by the famed Post-Impressionist. It bears great resemblance to 17th-century Dutch painter Jacob van Ruisdael’s The Windmill at Wijk (1670).
“We cannot prove that it is real, but there is a lot of evidence,” Jens-Peter Franz, Dechow project manager, told Monopol ahead of the September 1 auction.
While the Van Gogh Museum has told the German Press Agency that it “has examined this painting and does not think that the work was made by Vincent van Gogh,” Ulrich Kuder, a professor at the University of Kiel in Germany, believes that van Gogh created the The Wijk Mill while studying at the Hague School in the Netherlands between 1883 and 1885.
Kuder has also argued that lettering on the canvas of The Wijk Mill matches van Gogh’s handwriting. Uncharacteristically, however, the painting is signed “van Gogh,” rather than “Vincent,” the signature the artist typically employed for his artworks.
Van Gogh’s works have been the subject of multiple headlines this year, with his painting The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring (1884) stolen from the Singer Laren museum in the Netherlands in March and new research uncovering the location where the artist created his last painting, Tree Roots (1890). This week, van Gogh’s 1888 painting Café Terrace at Night was the subject of a heated Twitter debate about realism.