The newly discovered work by Van Gogh unveiled in Amsterdam on 9 September will be on view at the Van Gogh Museum from 24 September.
It is the first discovery of an unknown work by the Dutch artist since 1928. It has now been officially recognised thanks to advanced techniques that have confirmed that the paint and the canvas are genuine. And although there is no mention of it since it was first sold to a Norwegian in 1901 a recent compendium of letters and documents has also proved its authenticity.
After its sale nothing was heard of the painting until the death of its owner Nicolai Christian Mustad in 1970.
The work, Sunset at Montmajour, was created in 1888 during Van Gogh’s time in Arles and is from the same period as the Arles versions of the Sunflowers, and of The Bedroom and The Yellow House. It is described as a large “transition” work from the height of the artist’s career.
It was only a year later that Van Gogh’s mental health began to deteriorate and two years later he committed suicide. But these two years were particularly prolific with 70 paintings completed in the summer of 1890 only weeks before he killed himself at the end of July that year.
The work is without a signature and when it was first brought to the attention of the Van Gogh Museum it was considered either a fake or a work by a minor German artist trying to copy Van Gogh. The museum went back on its tracks in 2011 and it has taken two years of painstaking research to authenticate the work.
The painting has now been loaned to the museum for a year as part of the exhibition Van Gogh at Work, the first exhibition in the Van Gogh Museum since it was renovated last year.