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

2 hours ago in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Feb. 11

Fresh
People gather next to tributes placed near a mural of British singer David Bowie by artist Jimmy C, in Brixton, south London, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. Bowie, the other-worldly musician who broke pop and rock boundaries with his creative musicianship, nonconformity, striking visuals and a genre-spanning persona he christened Ziggy Stardust, died of cancer Sunday aged 69. He was born in Brixton. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

8 hours ago in Sports

Panthers turn page to 2016 after deflating Super Bowl loss

Carolina Panthers' head coach Ron Rivera talks to the media following an NFL wild card playoff football game victory against the Arizona Cardinals in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. The Panthers won 27-16.

Rivera congratulated his players on a special season Tuesday before they packed their bags and headed out the door, then flipped the page forward to next season.

11 hours ago in Sports

Lisa Borders announced as new WNBA President

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2009, file photo, Atlanta mayoral candidate Lisa Borders makes calls to supporters in her office at her campaign headquarters in Atlanta. Borders, who helped bring the Dream to Atlanta in 2008 as the city's vice mayor, will become the WNBA's fourth president, the league announced, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. The move comes three months after former president Laurel J. Richie stepped down. (AP Photo/Johnny Clark, File)

The move announced Wednesday comes three months after former president Laurel J. Richie stepped down.

14 hours ago in Viral Videos

Who’s your daddy?

16-overlay-10

When you're a baby and your dad is a twin, life can be confusing.

12 hours ago in Sports

Donaldson, Blue Jays complete $28.65 million, 2-year deal

Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson (20) hits an RBI single against the New York Yankees in Game 2 of a doubleheader baseball game at Yankee Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Donaldson receives $11.65 million this year and $17 million in 2017 under the deal announced Wednesday.

Bellingham Traffic