23 September 2013
Discovered Van Gogh Painting Art Article
The article “Newly discovered Van Gogh painting kept in Norwegian attic for years” by Mark Brown talks about how the painting “Sunset at Montmajour” painted by Vincent Van Gogh was found in an attic and will be put on display in the Van Gogh Museum. Finding the masterpiece was a true sensation and caught many experts off guard when it was shown to them. The picture was painted in 1888 and shows the wild yet beautiful countryside near Arles, France with a ruined abbey on the hill of Montmajour. It is now suspected that a man named Christian Nicolai Mustad bought the masterpiece through the advice of art historian Jens Thiis. However, Auguste Pellerin, a more prominent collector and also business rival of Mustad’s convinced Mustad that the art was a fake. As many art owners at the time were unsure of their art originality because of the increase of forgeries, it’s logical why the art piece was sent to the attic. The painting was then rejected twice as Van Gogh’s art after Mustad’s death in 1970. However, recent evidence, including a letter written by Van Gogh that describes the scene of the art piece, now suggests that the previous experts were wrong and that this was indeed an original Van Gogh piece. The current owner of the piece is anonymous at this point, but s/he has decided for the piece to be put on display on September 14, 2013 in the Van Gogh Museum.
It should be well noted that the finding of the “Sunset at Montmajour” is not insignificant in any way. The journey of the painting as it traveled from owner to owner is also extremely interesting by itself. Several articles, such as “‘Sunset at Montmajour’: Long-lost Vincent Van Gogh painting discovered” and “New van Gogh painting discovered: ‘Sunset at Montmajour’”, when pieced together, form the big picture of the background and history of the piece from the hands of Van Gogh himself to the museum solely dedicated to his paintings. Van Gogh made some of his best paintings during the time he painted “Sunset at Montmajour” such as “Sunflowers” and “Starry Night”. For an indicator of the price of “Sunset at Montmajour”, “Sunflowers” is now worth forty million dollars. Vincent apparently after painting the picture handed it to his brother Theo to add to his collection of almost 200 paintings. It was later found that this piece was number 180 of the collection. Mysteriously, there was no record of the painting after Theo evidently sold it in 1901. Mustad then came along and bought the painting, banishing it to the attic where it hibernated for sixty years. After passing through the hands of many other and more recent owners, the piece finally received the fame it was due after it was carefully examined and scrutinized by experts.
The discovery of this now famous painting is yet another testament to the ever changing world of art. People often undermine the value of art before new evidence is discovered. As is the case with “Sunset at Montmajour”, only after extensive research on Van Gogh’s letters regarding the inspiration for the piece and analysis of the brushstrokes and X-rays were experts able to confirm that the painting was indeed an original picture painted by Van Gogh. The discovery also shows the paranoia and insecurity people feel about possible great works of art that they own. This could be due to a fear of being rejected, ridiculed – especially with the amount of forgeries available, and possibly a waste of money and time. If art historians and experts are more passionate about finding old art pieces and work harder towards finding them, greater discoveries could definitely be made at a much faster pace, as well as not leaving perfectly well made art pieces to rot in attics spread throughout the world.
23 September 2013
Mullen, Jethro. “New van Gogh painting discovered: ‘Sunset at Montmajour’”. CNN. 9 Sep 2013. Cable News Network. 23 Sep 2013. <http://www.cnn.com/>
Sterling, Toby. “‘Sunset at Montmajour’: Long-lost Vincent Van Gogh painting discovered”. WORLDNEWS. 9 Sep 2013. NBCNews.com. 23 Sep 2013. <http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/>