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
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 0317 GMT (1117 HKT)
The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS militants brings into focus the risks faced by reporters in conflict zones.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 0433 GMT (1233 HKT)
About $35,000 was taken from the bank accounts of four passengers on board Flight 370.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 0938 GMT (1738 HKT)
Five survivors of acid attacks capture India's attention with a "ground breaking" photo shoot.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1732 GMT (0132 HKT)
The execution of a journalist by a British-accented jihadist is a direct challenge to the international community. It's time for the U.S. to move, writes Frida Ghitis.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0858 GMT (1658 HKT)
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1535 GMT (2335 HKT)
You've seen her turn on the catwalk, but her income might make your head spin.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 0036 GMT (0836 HKT)
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0904 GMT (1704 HKT)
19-year-old Udi Segal explains why he won't join the country's military.
Drinkers guzzled an incredible 10.3 billion liters of this brand in 2013, making it the world's No.1 beer. And you may have never heard of it.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT