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
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
It was supposed to be a class trip to a resort island. Instead, the ferry capsized, turning the afternoon into a deadly nightmare.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1731 GMT (0131 HKT)
It's hard not to be nervous, standing outside the Ebola isolation wards.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1258 GMT (2058 HKT)
Ukraine says it's forces have regained control of an airfield from Russian separatists. Nick Paton Walsh reports.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 2116 GMT (0516 HKT)
Officials are launching their next option: an underwater vehicle to scan the ocean floor.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1753 GMT (0153 HKT)
How are police preparing for this year's 26.2-mile marathon, which takes place Monday?
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1702 GMT (0102 HKT)
Katrina Karkazis
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis".
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 2126 GMT (0526 HKT)
The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1851 GMT (0251 HKT)
Sky gazers caught a glimpse of the "blood moon" crossing the Earth's shadow Tuesday in all its splendor.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1509 GMT (2309 HKT)
A staff stands next to the propellers of Sun-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 HB-SIB seen in silhouette during its first exit for test on April 14, 2014 in Payerne, a year ahead of their planned round-the-world flight. Solar Impulse 2 is the successor of the original plane of the same name, which last year completed a trip across the United States without using a drop of fuel. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
This solar-powered aircraft will attempt to circle the globe next year.
ADVERTISEMENT