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Van Gogh Found in Heartland, USA

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Sheep, Shepherd and Sheepdog
sheepshepherdandsheepdogctpt.jpg
Painting attributed to Vincent van Gogh

The picture is a study after a painting by the artist Anton Mauve. The date on the painting is "1882" and the location in the painting is "The Hague". "Vincent" signed the painting under the tail of the dog in very small letters.  The artist was experimenting with lithography, watercolors, black chalk and other mediums as documented by Jan Hulsker in "The Complete Van Gogh", copyright 1977, Pages 8-74.

1. "The Complete Van Gogh" by Jan Hulsker, copyright 1977, Page 26.

Vincent van Gogh apprenticed with Anton Mauve. Vincent was encouraged to work in oils by Anton Mauve with the gift of oil paints, brushes as documented in Vincent van Gogh's letter #165 of December 22-24, 1881. Vincent’s studio was at The Hague by 1882. Anton Mauve’s landscapes with sheep were popular in America. This study has the same elements; sheep, shepherd and sheepdog as the photograph of a sepia tone print by Anton Mauve. The sepia photograph was taken at an antique store.

2. The following images of works by Anton Mauve "Sheep, Spring", "Sheep, Autumn" and "Bringing Home the Flock" are available on the Internet.

3. The year is in a circle located below the shepherds figure. The number is reversed and reads "28".

4. The initials "gvv" are located in the lower center of the painting. The initials of the artist Vincent van Gogh’s are reversed.

5. The portrait of a bearded man is on the shepherd below his coat tail on the back of his pants.

6. The location "Hague" is written in the sky. The location appears to the right of the house to the right or east of the tallest tree in the background.

7. The artist’s name "Vincent" is written very small following the curve under the sheepdog’s tail.

8. The Vincent’s letter to Theo important to the painting is Letter 165 of December 22-24, 1881. Vincent acknowledges Mauve’s gift of a paint box, paints, brushes, etc.

9. The Grand Army of the Republic post minutes from February 17, 1894 to November 20, 1897 establish provenance for the painting.

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