The artist wrote in a letter that he didn’t consider the painting to be a successful one.
Well, twothirds of the painting is mud. It is a sunset, but that isn’t exactly clear and apparent. Life in the plein air world isn’t always presentable, pretty, or even interesting. Maybe that is what concerned him about this painting.
See the second painting in the slideshow and here is one that is about twothirds ground and one third sunny yellow sky. Earth, green leafy trees, and yellow sky is a pleasing mix accompanied by the artist’s textured brush stroke. More contrast feels better.
In the third painting, one can tell where the sun is by the fall line of the shadow from the painter, perhaps, a self-portrait.
The fourth painting is a blast of sunshine on a wooded scene. What makes this interesting is the texture in the foreground at the bottom to the mid section of the picture. The sun overwhelms the rest if it were not for a large tree standing in the way.
The fifth example shows the sun dancing in a blue sky while lighting the building subjects below.
The sixth example is truly a setting sun. Now, compare this with the “Sunset at Montmajour” and maybe he just gave to it the wrong title.
"Sunset at Montmajour" is a newly authenticated painting that is attributed to Vincent Van Gogh.
(Peter Dejong / Associated Press / September 9, 2013)
By David Ng
September 9, 2013, 10:37 a.m.
A newly identified landscape painting believed to have been created by Vincent Van Gogh in 1888, just two years before his death, was unveiled Monday by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
"Sunset at Montmajour" depicts a wooded area near Arles in the south of France. The museum said that the work dates from around the same period that Van Gogh created his famous "Sunflowers" painting.
The museum said it has spent two years authenticating the piece, using historic records, X-ray analysis and other techniques.
"Sunset at Montmajour," whose French title is "Coucher de soleil sur Montmajour," is a relatively large discovery in physical terms, measuring about 3 feet by 2½ feet.
The painting will go on display at the Van Gogh Museum starting Sept. 24.