Maybe we should call the Associated Press "post journalism."
By the way, it's not the greatest Van Gogh painting in the world, so you can see why it got "downgraded." But then X-ray technology somehow got to the truth. It had Van Gogh insides:
A detailed X-ray of an underlying painting of two wrestlers and knowledge of the painter's period at a Belgian art academy led a team of researchers to conclude that the painting really is by Van Gogh.Nothing says "Van Gogh" like wrestlers! No, wait. Googling "Van Gogh wrestlers," I got to this much better written news story from The Independent, explaining the reasoning so it doesn't sound ridiculous:
The wrestlers’ existence was known only from a reference in one of the Dutch master’s letters, written aged 33, just four years before his tragic death. On 22 January 1886, he wrote: “This week I painted a large thing with two nude torsos – two wrestlers.”Maybe Van Gogh wouldn't have been so "tortured" if he hadn't felt the urge to paint stodgy flowers over top of his nude male torsos!
There is no other painting of wrestlers. It is this painting that now confirms the still life’s authenticity. They are both on the same canvas. Van Gogh painted the still life over his wrestlers which could not be seen until now.
Professor Joris Dik of Delft University spoke of the excitement: “What makes it very tangible is this letter which refers to a painting that was thought to have been lost or had not survived.” He said that it was in Paris that Van Gogh became “obsessed” with flower painting, leaving behind his Dutch period, “where he used mostly dark colours”.What happened in Paris? What was he really saying with flowers? Was there an underlying nude male torso message?