Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mysterious dog found under Van Gogh painting

Jasmine Johns
For Art Journal

A previously unknown charcoal sketch of a dog by Vincent van Gogh has been revealed in a high-tech look beneath one of his paintings. Using a new technique based on "synchrotron radiation induced X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy", the dog seems to be a preliminary sketch for an intended painting. It appears that Van Gogh changed his mind and instead, painted over the sketch with a portrait of Pere Tanguy, a dealer who sold art supplies in Paris.

Art Von Dawggin, an art historian at the Van Gogh Foundation commented, “We only know of one other instance of a painting of a dog by Van Gogh, “Portrait of a Yoga Dawg”. The title of the painting has always been a bit of a mystery as to who this dog was and what exactly is a “yoga dawg”. We know that Van Gogh had an interest in Japan as he has painted many paintings with a Japanese motif. It has been speculated that Tanguy might have had a meditating novelty statue in his shop that he brought back from Japan along with the Japanese prints that he sold to Van Gogh and the other Impressionist painters. Scholars now suspect that this might be a second painting that Van Gogh intended to paint containing a ‘Yoga Dawg”.

Editors Note: While researching this story, numerous references exist that seems to imply that there is an ancient Indian Rushi, a “YogaDawg” incarnation, that roams the earth and appears to yogis from time to time throughout history, to tell them a good joke.

Van Gogh painting with ghostly image of a 'YogaDawg' underneath

The Van Gogh painting the 'YogaDawg' sketch was found under Portrait of Père Tanguy, 1887. Oil on canvas

What the 'YogaDawg' painting by Van Gogh might have looked like as visualized by Art Von Dawggin of the Van Gogh Museum