Sunset at Montmajour is a landscape in oils painted by Vincent van Gogh in July 1888. It was painted while the artist was at Arles, France and depicts a landscape of garrigue with the
ruins of Montmajour Abbey in the background.
Sunset at Montmajour is a work from the most important period of Van Gogh's life, when he created his substantial masterpieces, like Sunflowers, The Yellow House and The Bedroom.
The painting depicts dusk in the hilly, forested landscape of Montmajour, in Provence, with wheat fields and the ruins of a Benedictine abbey in the distance. The area around Montmajour was a subject that van Gogh revisited often during his time in Arles.
In the 1990s, the painting was shown to staff at the Van Gogh Museum, but it was dismissed as not the work of van Gogh because it was not signed. With the development of improved investigative techniques, however, in 2011 a two-year investigation was launched by the Van Gogh Museum to examine the possible authenticity of the painting. The painting was subjected to a detailed investigation of style and materials. It was discovered to have been painted in the same range of paints that appears in works by van Gogh at that period, which led to further research. Among the evidence that confirmed the painting's authenticity was a letter written by Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo on 5 July 1888, describing a landscape that he had painted the previous day.