An oil painting in Tokyo once valued at just 10,000 yen has been identified as an early work by Vincent van Gogh, it was revealed Friday.
The painting, previously regarded as an anonymous work, is scheduled to be auctioned in Tokyo on Saturday.
The work, which depicts a middle-aged peasant woman, was part of a collection owned by the late painter Kazumasa Nakagawa, according to Shinwa Art Auction Co.
The Tokyo-based company said the oil canvas, measuring about 41 cm × 35 cm, has been certified as an authentic van Gogh by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Shinwa Art Auction asked the museum last month to verify the painting after identifying features redolent of the Dutch postimpressionist master, who lived from 1853 to 1890.
The museum declared that it is a work which appears in a catalog of all van Gogh’s paintings.
The auction sponsor is expecting a starting bid of at least 3 million yen.
The auction will showcase about 170 pieces from the collection of Nakagawa, who was known as an avid collector and an admirer of van Gogh.
According to the auction house, Nakagawa regarded the painting as a van Gogh. The auction house had it categorized as an unidentified work, however, as some of its features seemed different from those listed in the catalog.
It asked the museum for verification just in case.
Nakagawa was a self-taught artist. The creator of the 1959 work “Mienai Sekai” (“Unseen World”) also produced Japanese-style art.
He was born in 1893 and died in 1991. He received the Order of Culture in 1975.
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