Van Gogh Painting's Grand Entrance into Museum Life

By Meggie Gates on September 11, 2013

Van Gogh Museum director Axel Ruger, left, and senior researcher Louis Van Tilborgh unveil “Sunset at Montmajour” in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Monday September 9th, 2013.

Van Gogh’s painting “Sunset at Montmajour,” which has remained anonymous to all aside from the art historians who rejected it as a fake, made its debut from attic to museum after being declared 100% authentic after arduous research.

According to museum director Axel Ruger, museum researchers have reportedly worked to prove the validity of the painting for the past two years after the past owners, who wish to remain unknown, of “Sunset at Montmajour” took it to the Van Gogh museum in 1991. Many new techniques have evolved for authenticating and identifying works of art since that time and these practices were put to use when researchers gave the piece of art another go.

Museum senior researcher Louis van Tillborgh stated that “Sunset at Montmajour” was painted on the same type of canvas and used the same kind of under painting Van Gogh used in his post-impressionistic painting “The Rocks” created in 1888. The rocky terrain scenery used in this painting was, coincidentally, modeled after an area in the South of France called Montmajour.

“Sunset in Montmajour”, painted in Arles in 1888, depicts dusk on the hillside of Montmajour in Providence. The landscape features sprawling wheat fields and in the background stands the ruins of a Benedictine abbey in the distance. The piece, as concluded by Ruger, is from the most important period of the artist’s life in which he created other significant masterpieces, such as “Sunflowers”, “The Yellow House”, and “The Bedroom”.

Staring September 24th, the painting will be on view in the exhibition “Van Gogh at Work” for approximately a year. For further reading, click here.

Hello! My name is Meggie Gates and I am a sophomore at the University of Iowa. I am currently majoring in Journalism and English, though the promise of majors that fit my creative abilities are endless. I began my writing career as a prepubescent girl, spending my nights alone in a desolate room while pouring my heart out into a compact diary over the pettiness of girls and how much I loved George W. Bush (which I contribute to my very conservative family). My career quickly skyrocketed when I entered high school and realized the glory actually being given the opportunity to write for a newspaper. However, to the dismay of my parents and teachers, what I wrote, especially for a Catholic high school, was not exactly what they were looking for which caused many future disputes regarding my first amendment rights. Luckily, I was saved by the level-headedness of my peers and their unwavering stance of support behind what I wrote. I quickly became a very respected person in my community for being able to stand up for what I believed was the truth and I am honored to have had the opportunity to grow as a writer at Xavier High. I have taken many writing courses in my short amount of time spent at the University of Iowa and was accepted into the school of Journalism as well as the Ireland Writing Program after my Freshman Year. Currently, I have begun to write freelance articles in my spare time as means of getting my name out there and hopefully gaining recognition. My dreams blindly surpass my opportunities of ever achieving them, but hopefully one day I am able to write television for the marvelous NBC. I enjoy puppies, bubble wrap, staring at pictures of Jake Gyllenhaal (and myself), keeping my tumblr updated, croutons, and the sims.

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