The works of art were found during grand Italian study. Today the Prosecutor of Naples announced (during a press conference) that the 2 missing paintings by Van Gogh were found. The found works are the 2 canvases that were stolen from the museum in 2002: ‘Sea at Scheveningen’ (1882) and ‘Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen’ (1884/85).
The conclusion of the curator who studied the work at the request of the Italian Public Prosecutor for authenticity and origin, was clear: “These are the real paintings!”. After 14 years of wandering the two works seem in fairly good condition. Both are no more equipped with their list and show some damage. When the work will come back to Amsterdam is still not clear.
The unique works of are of great art historical importance. The historical and artistic value of the paintings for the collection is large. ‘Sea at Scheveningen’ is the only painting in the museum’s collection of Van Gogh’s period in The Hague (1881 1883). It is one of only two seascapes he painted in his Dutch years and is an important example of Van Gogh’s earliest painting style in which he showed himself very quirky.
The ‘Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen’ is a small canvas that Van Gogh painted in early 1884 for his mother. Pictured is the church of the Dutch Reformed Church in Nuenen, which Van Gogh’s father worked as a pastor. In 1885, after the death of his father, Van Gogh took the canvas again in hand and joined the congregation in the foreground far, including women with a shawl which was worn in times of mourning. This may be a reference to the death of his father. The biographical charge the painting has great sentimental value.
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