Title: The Spoony Night (TGF Catalogue No. 425.1941)

Gallery Location: Portland 

Artist: Vanilla van Gogh

June, 1889

Oil paint, canvas

A Van Gogh, or no? While the obvious impressionist style, use of color, and symbolic representation would indicate that this piece is, indeed, a work of Vincent van Gogh, the proof has yet to be found. The art world remains split over whether or not Vincent and Vanilla van Gogh were one and the same.

What is known for sure is that this piece was completed in 1889 and purchased by a private buyer later that year. A notice of sale was issued to one Vanilla van Gogh. The piece’s abstract symbolism references the turmoil of the time, but also alludes to the sensations of hope, renewal, and rebirth being felt in contemporary artistic circles.

The debate over the artist’s identity continues. Believers in the “one artist theory” cite the lack of concrete information about Vanilla van Gogh, as well as Vincent van Gogh’s well-known fascination with Italian desserts.

And, of course, conspiracy theories about Vincent van Gogh’s connection to a secret society abound, with proponents citing his extensive time spent in Italy. Some even claim that this work inspired Edvard Munch’s pro-gelato piece, The (Ice) Scream