Century old ‘fake’ painting finally gets its due

Zee Media Bureau/Resham Sengar

The Hague: Dutch master painter Vincent Van Gogh will be heaving a sigh of relief after hearing this in his grave. Almost a century later, after being passed off as a fake painting and kept in the attic away from the public eye, Van Gogh’s artwork has finally been recognised as his own real piece, a museum revealed to a leading daily on Monday based on latest research.

The painting named ‘Sunset at Montmajour’ depicts twisted holly oaks and a distant ruin against the backdrop of a setting sun. It dates back to 1888 when Vincent was living in Arles, in the South of France.

The work will go on show at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam by the end of September. Currently, it is owned by a private art collector. During a press conference held to talk about this discovery, museum director Axel Rueger has described the surprising finding as “once in a lifetime experience”.

The daily quoted Axel highlighting the painting’s qualities thus: “What makes this even more exceptional is that this is a transition work in his oeuvre, and moreover, a large painting from a period that is considered by many to be the culmination of his artistic achievement, his time in Arles.”

Interestingly, in 1991 the museum had concluded that the painting was not by the Vincent when contacted by the owners for an opinion.

But this view changed when a new research which included analysis of the pigments in the paints used and their discolouration told another story. Besides that, in July 5 1888, Vincent had written to his brother Theo that he had painted a scene but was not happy with the final outcome.