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Good Reads: From a Van Gogh find, to undocumented students, to Web memory

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Peter Dejong/AP

(Read caption) ‘Sunset at Montmajour’ has recently been confirmed as a painting by Van Gogh.

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A newly discovered painting by Vincent van Gogh went on display last month. “Sunset at Montmajour,” painted in 1888, spent a century trapped in an attic. Now, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has embraced the work as genuine, turning what was long considered to be a fake into a potential multimillion-dollar find.

In the early 1900s, the painting changed hands from Van Gogh’s sister-in-law to a Paris art dealer and then on to Norwegian industrialist Christian Nicolai Mustad. Mustad “purchased it in 1908 as a young man in one of his first forays into art collecting, but was soon told by the French ambassador to Sweden that it was a fake,” writes Toby Sterling in a feature for The Associated Press. “Embarrassed, Mustad banished it to the attic.”

This year, the Van Gogh Museum confirmed its authenticity through a combination of chemical analysis and researching the letters of Van Gogh, who described both the painting and the landscape it depicts.


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