This recently discovered 1887 photograph showing six men drinking around a table including a rare sighting of painter Vincent van Gogh could fetch a whooping $136,000 to $170,000 when hit the auction block in mid-June at Belgium. If experts are correct, then the man third from the left (and smoking a pipe) is the legendary artist himself. The image first came to the attention of French photo expert Serge Plantureux, who writes for magazine L’Oeil de la Photographie (The Eye of Photography), when two individuals acquired the photo at an estate sale and thought they recognized a few of the faces, among them, artists Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, Félix Jobbé-Duval, and André Antoine – a significant discovery in and of itself.
Analyzing the photographic process, the photographer (thought to be to Jules Antoine), and pinpointing the when the photo was taken raised the chances significantly that a bearded figure who appears amongst the gathering of stoic men might be Van Gogh.
Though this may be the first known photo of Van Gogh after he became an artist, there already exist other photos of him at younger years, including one at age 13 and one at age 19.