Do Norwegians Have Lousy Taste In Art?

As a proud Norwegian-American, I deny it. But it is a little hard, otherwise, to explain the story of Van Gogh’s “Sunset at Montmajour.” Van Gogh painted it in 1888, during his most productive period, but wasn’t very happy with the painting and didn’t sign it. Upon his death, it was inventoried by his brother Theo, and it was bought early in the 20th century by a Norwegian industrialist, Christian Mustad. Unfortunately, Mustad was told that the painting wasn’t a genuine Van Gogh. So he put it in his attic. What–it wasn’t good enough to hang in the living room?

It was recently discovered in the attic and has now conclusively been confirmed as Van Gogh’s work. Here it is; I think it is pretty darn good. Click to enlarge:

In the art world, this is a big story–the first full-sized Van Gogh to be discovered since 1928. Who knows? Maybe there are a few more lurking in Norwegian attics.


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