News

Hidden ‘fake’ is a real Van Gogh

Hidden ‘fake’ is a real Van Gogh

A painting titled "Sunset at Montmajour" is seen in this handout photo received from The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam on September 9, 2013. REUTERS/Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) Sunset at Montmajour, 1988. Photo: Reuters/Private collection

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A French landscape painting stored in an attic and kept from public view for a century because it was considered a fake is the work of Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh, a museum said on Monday citing new research.

“Sunset at Montmajour”, which shows twisted holly oaks and a distant ruin bathed in the light of the setting sun, was painted in 1888 when Van Gogh was living in Arles, in the south of France.

The work, owned by a private collector, will go on show at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam later this month for a year.

Museum director Axel Rueger described the discovery of a new work by Van Gogh as “a once in a lifetime experience” as the painting was unveiled at a press conference on Monday.

“What makes this even more exceptional is that this is a transition work in his oeuvre, and moreover, a large painting from a period that is considered by many to be the culmination of his artistic achievement, his period in Arles,” Rueger said.

As recently as 1991 the Van Gogh Museum had concluded that the painting was not by the Dutch artist when contacted by the owners of the work for an opinion.

But thanks to new research, including analysis of the pigments in the paint used and their discoloration, as well as letters from Van Gogh himself, the museum has changed its view.

In a letter to his brother Theo dated July 5, 1888, Vincent described the scene he had painted the previous day, but expressed his disappointment at the end result, writing: “I brought back a study of it too, but it was well below what I’d wished to do.”

The work was later listed in one of Theo’s catalogues, and then reappeared in 1970 in the estate of a Norwegian industrialist, Christian Nicolai Mustad, who had collected the works of Edvard Munch.

The Mustad family believed the painting had been bought by Mustad in 1908 but that he was advised later on that it was a fake or wrongly attributed, and banished it to the attic.

Recent Headlines

24 minutes ago in Sports

Wall Street fund managers buy Milwaukee Bucks

Fresh
bucks

Hedge fund managers are buying the Milwaukee Bucks for $550 million, becoming the latest Wall Street financiers to own a sports club.

26 minutes ago in Sports

Atlanta awarded MLS expansion team

Fresh
soccer

Atlanta has landed a Major League Soccer expansion team that will play beginning in 2017 in the city's new open-air stadium.

28 minutes ago in Entertainment

‘Hobbit’ star found guilty in drug case

Fresh
mikaelbran

Actor Mikael Persbrandt has been sentenced to five months in jail for buying cocaine.

33 minutes ago in National, Weird

Missing toddler found safe, playing in ‘claw crane’ machine

Fresh
claw

A 3-year-old boy has been reunited with his mother after being found playing inside a coin-operated arcade game.

58 minutes ago in Music, Viral Videos

Watch Taylor Swift’s video blog of bridal shower surprise

Fresh
taylor

The superstar documented her surprise appearance at an Ohio bride's celebration.