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Portland Museum scores big with its very own van Gogh painting.

Created during Vincent van Gogh’s super emo phase in Nuenen, a small town in the Netherlands. Nuenen has since turned into Vincent van Gogh tourist central based on the two years he was there.

Poor ol’ Betsy looks like she works way too hard and is not fed often enough. In fact, that cart manages to look underfed and overworked as well.

The hazy background in the painting fits in really well with the standard rainy weather of Portland.

Donated by longtime Oregonians Fred and Frances Sohn. Mr. Sohn hails from Germany and survived the Holocaust before settling with his wife in Roseburg in 1949 and starting a thriving lumber company. The family inherited the painting from Mrs. Sohn’s parents and displayed it in their dining room.

When the Sohns initially called the museum to donate the painting the museum wasn’t very excited. They must’ve thought, “Another whack job with a Wal-Mart knockoff!” Luckily one of the sons let slip that it was a van Gogh and the curators were quick to roll out the red carpet.


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Here is what Wikipedia says about Cart with Black Ox

Cart with Black Ox, or The Ox-Cart, is an oil painting created in 1884 by Vincent van Gogh. It has been cited as one of his important early works.


Created in the village of Nuenen before Van Gogh went to the South of France, the painting has a dark palette and has been described as "disquieting"; the ox and cart are both decrepit.

Cart with Black Ox was owned by a family who had bought it in 1950. It was donated in 2007 to the Portland Art Museum, and as of 2010 is the most valuable gift yet made to the museum.

Curator Bruce Guenther argued, "The way the wheel becomes a definition lifted off the surface of the painting with the brush is Van Gogh establishing his vocabulary as a painter. He becomes Van Gogh here."

In 2010, the painting was analyzed by digital X-ray and CT scanning to look for information on the artist's working methods and to add to the database at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. A painted-out flying bird was discovered. A related painting made the same year, Cart with Red and White Ox, is in the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Cart with Black Ox