Skip to main content

New van Gogh painting discovered: 'Sunset at Montmajour'

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
September 9, 2013 -- Updated 2137 GMT (0537 HKT)
Van Gogh Museum director Axel Ruger, and senior researcher Louis van Tilborgh, right, unveil the newly discovered painting by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh during a press conference at the museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Monday, September 9. Van Gogh Museum director Axel Ruger, and senior researcher Louis van Tilborgh, right, unveil the newly discovered painting by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh during a press conference at the museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Monday, September 9.
HIDE CAPTION
Under the cover, a new van Gogh painting
Under the cover, a new van Gogh painting
Under the cover, a new van Gogh painting
<<
<
1
2
3
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The painting has been identified as a van Gogh after "extensive research," a museum says
  • "A discovery of this magnitude has never before occurred," the Van Gogh Museum says
  • The picture is from 1888, during a period considered by many to be the high point of his career
  • It depicts a landscape in the south of France, where van Gogh was working at the time

Read this article in Spanish

(CNN) -- More than 120 years after Vincent van Gogh's death, a new painting by the Dutch master has come to light.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which holds the largest collection of the artist's work, announced Monday the discovery of the newly identified painting, a landscape titled "Sunset at Montmajour."

"A discovery of this magnitude has never before occurred in the history of the Van Gogh Museum," the museum's director, Axel Ruger, said in a statement.

Van Gogh is believed to have completed the relatively large painting in 1888, two years before his death and during "a period that is considered by many to be the culmination of his artistic achievement," Ruger said.

The picture depicts a landscape in the vicinity of Arles in the south of France, where van Gogh was working at that time, the museum said.

Vincent Van Gogh's lost painting
Watch 7,000 dominoes fall to create art

Museum discovers 'new' van Gogh painting

Ruger said the museum attributed the painting to van Gogh after "extensive research into style, technique, paint, canvas, the depiction, van Gogh's letters and the provenance."

Starting September 24, it will appear in "Van Gogh At Work," an exhibition currently on show at the museum in Amsterdam.

From the 'Sunflowers' period

Van Gogh (1853-1890) crafted some of the world's best known and most loved paintings, including "Sunflowers," "Irises" and "Starry Night," and a number of self-portraits.

He painted "Sunset at Montmajour" during the same period in which he produced "Sunflowers," Ruger said.

Van Gogh achieved little recognition as an artist during his lifetime, but his reputation blossomed in the years after his suicide at the age of 37, following years of mental illness.

His works now hang in leading museums and galleries around the world.

During the art market boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s, three of van Gogh's works succeeded each other as the most expensive paintings ever sold: "Sunflowers" for $39.9 million, "Irises" for $53.9 million and "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" for $82.5 million.

In its statement, the Van Gogh Museum didn't divulge the full story behind the discovery of "Sunset at Montmajour," saying it would be published in the October edition of The Burlington Magazine, a fine art publication, and at the museum.

Louis van Tilborgh and Teio Meedendorp, two senior researchers at the museum, said the painting had belonged to the collection of van Gogh's younger brother, Theo, in 1890 and was sold in 1901.

Saving van Gogh's home from dereliction

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0320 GMT (1120 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT