1887 photo could show rare, real-life image of Van Gogh
A rare work involving Vincent Van Gogh recently went up for auction, but it wasn't one of his famous paintings.
The item is actually a photograph from 1887 that is thought to include the artist as one of six men socializing around a table.
It was initially found at an estate sale two years ago by a pair of art enthusiasts.
The image was expected to fetch between $134,000 to nearly $170,000, at least partly because there are only two or three known photos of Van Gogh in existence.
Despite his fondness for painting self-portraits, it's possible he avoided being photographed because he did not like the medium.
While some experts have identified Van Gogh along with fellow painters Paul Gaugin and Emile Bernard, other historians -- including those at the Van Gogh museum -- have denied that it is him.
In addition to a lack of resemblance, it's been noted that the artist did not mention the social occasion in any of his numerous letters to his brother.
This doubt could be one of the reasons why the photo failed to find a buyer.