A British couple alleges to have purchased the only full-length portrait of artist Vincent Van Gogh in existence. Michael and Mandy Cruickshank claim they bought the portrait — a pastel drawing — on the Internet for just $3,000.
According to London’s Daily Mail, the Cruickshanks found the drawing on an auction site listed merely as “portrait of a man.” But thanks to a characteristically crumpled hat, they suspected the image — drawn by a neighbor of Van Gogh’s, the artist Jeanne Donnadieu — depicted the legendary impressionist, who died in 1890.
The couple purports to have support from several art historians, who found several clues in the drawing (and behind it) that point to its authenticity. First is the word “L’Incompris” (“The Misunderstood”) which appears scrawled on the wall behind the figure on the painting. Another clue is apparently the address scrawled on the back of the paper, which is located on the same Paris street where Van Gogh and his brother Theo lived.
If authenticated, the Cruickshanks say the drawing could be worth millions.