Van Gogh’s ‘Sunset at Montmajour’ painting found in family’s attic


You may not know a thing about him, but you probably have heard his name before, and seen his paintings around without even knowing it.

Vincent Van Gogh is one the most renowned modern artists of our time.

He has produced more than 800 art pieces. Some have sold for tens of millions of dollars.

Another one of Van Gogh’s pieces was recently discovered.

“Such new discoveries are made quite regularly, though they often are not carried in the popular press because the artist does not have the name recognition of Van Gogh. Also, some new discoveries do not stand the test of time,” said William Breazeale, the European curator at Sacramento’s Crocker Art Musuem, in an email interview.

The piece had been stashed away in a family’s attic for decades.

It is titled “Sunset at Montmajour.”

It was painted by Van Gogh near the end of his life, and New York Times.

This was also a transitional period for him,making it a very important find.It’s a large-scale painting, approximately 36 by 28 inches, according to an article in  The Huffington Post.

“The most important part of a discovery such as the Sunset at Montmajour is that it brings another piece into the puzzle that is Van Gogh, and creates a slightly different picture … It changes the history of one of the nineteenth-century’s most intriguing artists,” said Breazeale.

The piece was painted in Arles, France in 1888. Van Gogh died in 1890.

It was first sold to a French art dealer in 1901. It was purchased for a second time by an art collector in 1908.

The new owner was told it was a fake, so he had it put away in his attic.

There are a few reasons for the confusion and mistake.

For one, near the end of Van Gogh’s life he had started a new style of painting, thicker and more layered brush strokes. So it was different from his typical painting techniques.

Secondly, it was not signed.  Due to the fact Van Gogh didn’t like signing his work.

Lastly, technology was just not as advanced in 1991, when the owner tried to get it authenticated.

“There have been a lot of helpful developments in conservation science involving x-rays, infrared reflectography, chemical analysis of pigments, dendrochronology etc. that allow us to be much more exact.

In addition, the chain of ownership and documentation is a key factor in confirming authorship,” said Breazeale.
It was looked at again in 2011.

This time it was x-rayed. There was a chemical analysis of the pigments, and letters Van Gogh sent to his brother talking about it, confirming the existence of “Sunset at Montmajour.”

The painting is now on display at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

This leaves room for art historians to ponder what other unknown work Van Gogh left behind.