The Herd Nearby

The cottage

The X-ray photo shows that Van Gogh had used this canvas earlier. There is another painting underneath The cottage, of a shepherd and his sheep. Because he painted directly over the earlier picture, the X-ray is easy to ‘read’. You can see the texture of the paint in the underlying painting with the naked eye, especially at lower right. The paint surface is very irregular there.

Compare the painting in normal light, in raking light, and with X-rays.

In this paint sample, we can clearly see the paint layers of the earlier and later pictures.

Van Gogh painted flocks of sheep several times while living in North Brabant. He later painted over most of these pictures.

Shepherd with his flock, 1885

private collection