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Long-Lost Vincent Van Gogh Painting Identified

Sunset at Montmajour is Van Gogh's first full-size canvas discovered in 85 years.

Posted on September 9, 2013, at 10:26 a.m. ET

Peter Dejong / AP

On Monday, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam announced it had identified a new, unsigned painting by the Dutch artist dating back to 1888.

Sunset at Montmajour spent years gathering dust in a Norwegian attic, the museum said. The Associated Press reports that it is the first full-size Van Gogh painting to be discovered in 85 years.

Van Gogh wrote about the painting — done "on a stony heath where small twisted oaks grow" — in a letter to his brother on July 4,1888. It was sold in 1901, after Van Gogh's death.

When the 36.7-by-28.9 canvas was first brought to the museum in the 1990s, it was rejected as inauthentic. But new developments in chemical analysis allowed the museum to revisit the piece.

"This is a great painting from what many see as the high point of his artistic achievement, his period in Arles, in southern France," museum director Axel Rueger said. "In the same period he painted works such as Sunflowers, The Yellow House and The Bedroom."

Sunset at Montmajour will be on display at the Van Gogh Museum starting on Sept. 24.

Read more about the painting at the AP.

Handout / Reuters

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