The Van Gogh Museum’s masterpiece has suffered from a 1960s restoration which involved the insertion of three long metal bolts
The Van Gogh Museum’s display on its Sunflowers, which opens today, offers guests a most irregular chance to see the back of the image. This uncovers a wooden strip which was included at the highest point of the stretcher, to broaden the canvas and permit more space for the highest bloom. The turn around of the canvas is briefly noticeable through a window on the back of the huge remain on which the Sunflowers is hung, enabling guests to see with their own eyes how the image was somewhat amplified.
New research has affirmed that the 3.5 cm pine strip was included by Van Gogh, since the shade is equivalent to those which he utilized and the brushstrokes over the join and are his. In any case, what truly comes as a shock is the disclosure that in 1961 the strip was incidentally expelled by the conservator Jan Traas, irritating the join, and it was then reattached with three long jolts. This was done when the artistic creation was as yet possessed by the Van Gogh family and before the making of the exhibition hall in 1973.
As the presentation index clarifies, during the time spent relining the artwork Traas lifted off the wooden strip, which “broke the fillings and modifies over the join”. On supplanting it, he joined it with paste and three long jolts. These jolts are almost 10 cm long.
Traas kept no records of his rebuilding, so until the ongoing exploration the exhibition hall’s conservators had accepted that the jolts presumably gone back to 1927, when Traas had embraced a prior reclamation. Be that as it may, it has now been set up that the jolts were embedded in 1961.
During the 1961 reclamation the wooden strip was reattached in a marginally unique position, which implies that it is currently sunk once more from the outside of the canvas by around 3 mm. This makes the join progressively unmistakable to watchers.