Brand new paintings from prolific artists don’t pop up all that often. However, this week, the Van Gogh Museum announced that a Van Gogh original that was formerly presumed to be a fake is actually authentic. The painting is called “Sunset at Montmajour,” and believe it or not, it was sitting in a Norwegian Attic for many years before it was pulled out and subjected to another authenticity check.
On Monday, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam released a statement noting that the large painting has been determined to be real, thanks to “style, technique, paint, canvas, the depiction, Van Gogh's letters and the provenance.” Research by Louis van Tilborgh and Teio Meedendorp used some good historical research as well as some modern technologies to come to their conclusion. First, it was proven that the painting was in possession of Theo Van Gogh for many years. Second, the location of the painting was found and third, the style correlates to another painting from the period, “The rocks.”
As if the circumstantial information weren’t enough, microscopic analysis was performed on the paint used, and the canvas was also studied extensively, leaving no doubt that it is really a Van Gogh masterpiece. The painting was created in 1888, in a summer where Van Gogh was at one of his most creative points.
The find is significant, and the director of the Van Gogh Museum Axel Rüger attempted to drive that point home in a statement made earlier this week.
“A discovery of this magnitude has never before occurred in the history of the Van Gogh Museum. It is already a rarity that a new painting can be added to Van Gogh's oeuvre.”
The painting is an exciting find, and the Van Gogh museum has plans to put the beauty on display beginning on September 24. It will appear as part of an exhibition called "Van Gogh At Work.”
Forgeries are found far more often than priceless pieces of artwork, but a new Van Gogh find is pretty awesome. Past paintings the man put together during his tenure have gone for millions of dollars, with CNN reporting that the painting “Sunflowers” sold for $39.9 million and the "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" once sold for $82.5 million.
If there’s anything to take away from this story, it’s that you should immediately run upstairs and frantically search your attic for any old paintings that might be dusty and forgotten. Worst -case scenario, you have to look at some terrible artistic decisions your great-grandmother made. Best-case scenario, you’re about to hear the sound of money flitting between your fingers.