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Previously Unknown Van Gogh Drawing Of Exhausted Man Unveiled By Dutch Museum

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - A previously unknown work by Vincent van Gogh -- a study for one of his best-known drawings, "Worn Out" -- has been unveiled by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

The drawing in which an elderly man sits in a chair, hunched forward with his head in his hands on a wooden chair, is owned by a private collector and had never been known of or displayed.

Discoveries of works by the famously troubled artist, who died in 1890, are extremely rare.

"So when [the owner] came to the museum it was a big surprise," said the museum's house researcher Teio Meenendorp, adding that the piece was relatively easy to authenticate.

The 20 x 12 inch work, now titled "Study for 'Worn Out,'" was done with Van Gogh's favorite drawing tool, a carpenter's pencil, in his distinctive style, on water-marked paper from 1877. The work can be dated with unusual precision to the last weeks of November 1882, Meenendorp says, because of two letters Van Gogh wrote on Nov. 24 of that year.

It closely resembles the more famous "Old Man" drawing, but the perspective is at eye-level with the old man, rather than from above.

Van Gogh "was really interested in the ordinary person, he was also looking to express emotion," says Emilie Gordenker, the museum's director.

"I think we're all coming out of the COVID period feeling like this and the amazing thing is that we can share this with our visitors," she tells Reuters.

The Dutch artist was troubled by mental illness and considered himself a failure. He returned to the theme with an oil painting known as "Sorrowing Old Man," based on the lithograph, two months before his own death. Van Gogh died on July 29, 1890, of a self-inflicted gun wound.

"Study for 'Worn Out'" will be on display at the Van Gogh Museum through Jan. 2.

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