At 87 Hackford Road in south London, during renovation work this is an amazing discovery that has been made by the new owners at the former home of Vincent Van Gogh. A contract, a collection of prayers dating back to 1867, as well as watercolors have been found in a hiding place concealed blades in the floor. It is a kind of miracle that the interior of this small building of two floors remained intact, whereas it had been bombed during the Second world War by the Luftwaffe.

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Martin Bailey, an expert on Van Gogh, the author of Starry Night: Van Gogh at the asylum , told CNN that the artist lived at 87 Hackfoard Road between 1873 and 1874 when he was working as an assistant at the Goupil gallery in Covent Garden. “Van Gogh was 20 years old when he arrived and his passage to London was profoundly influenced,” he explained. And according to this art historian, “it would have been unlikely that he will become an artist, if he had not worked in an art gallery in london”.

impossible love

The funny hidden treasure under the floor may first give free rein to all the fantasies and all the speculation. Because, helter-skelter, our scouts have found a brochure religious titled A Penny Pocket Book of Prayers and Hymns (1867) as well as old administrative papers including the certificate of insurance in the property in the name of a certain Ursula Rent…

If we ignore, for the moment, who is the author of the watercolors, it is assumed that the engineering Dutch would have rented a room in the building, Ursula Rent. This woman, director of a small school in the area, had a 19 year old girl, named Eugenie, which Van Gogh himself would be smitten. A feeling that will, however, not shared by the young woman. Disappointed, the painter sank into solitude and took refuge in religion.

A thesis that does not share Martin Bailey. According to the expert, these flowers painted in watercolor would not be the work of Van Gogh because according to him, “the style does not look like the artist.” “They could have been painted by Eugenie”, he thinks. These documents weakened by the ravages of time are being restored so that they can be separated with care, and then decrypted. Maybe provide original revelation on the life of Van Gogh in London.

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The 87 Hackford Road was purchased at auction in 2012 for $ 565.000 books, 650.000 euros. The owners, Jian Wang and Alice Childs want to preserve the last memories of the days when Van Gogh lived there. They have a nice ambition: to make this historic site a center for artists and a gallery. A sort of foundation to help artists in difficulty. An initiative generous as Vang Gogh, who lived a good part of his life in poverty, would surely not have disowned.

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