Hidden Van Gogh Self-Portrait Discovered By X-Ray Behind Another Painting

A never-before-seen self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh was discovered by X-ray behind another one of his paintings.

The previously unknown piece of art was found behind his “Head of a Peasant Woman” painting at the National Galleries of Scotland, according to The Associated Press. Experts at the gallery took an X-ray of the canvas ahead of an upcoming exhibition.

This self-portrait has been hidden for over a century, experts believe. It was covered by layers of glue and cardboard when it was framed in the early 20th century. As you may know, Van Gogh famously painted on both sides of a canvas to save money. Experts are currently figuring out how to remove the glue and cardboard without causing any damage to the original painting.

The newly discovered self-portrait shows the artist in a “brimmed hat.” “Experts said the subject was instantly recognizable as the artist himself, and is thought to be from his early work. The left ear is clearly visible and Van Gogh famously cut his off in 1888,” The Associated Press reported.

National Galleries of Scotland senior curator Frances Fowle shared her thoughts about the discovery. “Moments like this are incredibly rare. We have discovered an unknown work by Vincent Van Gogh, one of the most important and popular artists in the world,” she said.

If you want to see the painting in person, it might take a while — and a plane ticket! The X-ray image of the new self-portrait can be seen through a lightbox at an upcoming Impressionist exhibit at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, Scotland, which runs from July 30 to November 13.

You can see a photo of the newly discovered self-portrait below:

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