Rare photo from 1887 could be of Vincent Van Gogh

Experts claim the image is of the artist

1887 Photo Could Show Rare, Real-Life Image Of Van Gogh

A rare work of Vincent Van Gogh recently went up for auction - but it wasn't one of his famous paintings. It was actually a photograph from 1887 said to include the artist.

The photo found at an estate sale in Brussels, Belgium, is believed to be one of a couple in existence that shows the painter - but there are doubts over its authenticity as he hated being photographed.

This black and white photo has experts excited because they believe it shows the first ever image of a young Van Gogh after he became an artist.

The group snap from 1887, which shows six stoic men huddled around what looks to be a beer table, is believed to show the legendary Dutch artist third from left smoking a pipe.

Experts convinced

Photography magazine L'Oeil de la Photographie - 'The Eye of Photography' - broke the story after the snap was brought into one of its writers, photo expert Serge Plantureux.

They bought it at the sale and thought they recognised faces in the photo. A team of specially trained experts including Plantureux then investigated the picture.

Plantureux says he and other experts are now convinced that they have identified both Van Gogh and his companions.

The photograph has now been put up for auction at the The Romantic Agnoy in Brussels, Belgium, but has so far failed to buy a buyer.

The auction listing described the picture as a melanotype created by Jules Antoine showing Van Gogh talking with a group of friends that includes artist Paul Gauguin, artist Emile Bernard, Félix Jobbé-Duval, and Andre Antoine.

It was hoped to fetch between €120,000 and €150,000 (£71,000 to £107.000), reports the Daily Mirror.