Here's a 'New' Van Gogh Work

'Sunset at Montmajour' from 'most important period of his life': expert

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 9, 2013 11:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – Its namesake has been dead for more than a century, but the Van Gogh Museum has a new work by the painter—and it's from what might be called his greatest-hits period. Painted in 1888, around the same time as "The Bedroom" and "The Sunflowers," "Sunset at Montmajour" was unveiled at the Amsterdam institution today, the New York Times reports. "We always think we’ve seen everything and we know everything," says the museum's director. But "for the first time in the history of the museum, that is in the past 40 years, a substantial capital new work of Van Gogh has been discovered that was completely unknown in the literature."

The work shows fields and a ruined abbey at dusk in Provence, France. After a sale in 1908, the painting "was declared a fake," notes another museum expert. So it spent years in an attic until the current owners bought it; they showed it to the museum two years ago to find out if it was the real thing. There is, apparently, little question: It adheres to contemporary records as well as pigment tests, says the museum's former chief curator. "We know what it depicts, we know the history, we have a full quote in (a) letter about it," adds a researcher. Click for more.

Sunset at Montmajour by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh is seen during a press conference at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
"Sunset at Montmajour" by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh is seen during a press conference at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Van Gogh Museum director Axel Ruger, left, and senior researcher Louis van Tilborgh, right, unveil Sunset at Montmajour.
Van Gogh Museum director Axel Ruger, left, and senior researcher Louis van Tilborgh, right, unveil "Sunset at Montmajour."   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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