Faux Van Gogh? Nope, it’s the real thing - FOX 35 News Orlando

Faux Van Gogh? Nope, it’s the real thing

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Add one more painting to the 800+ tally of Vincent Van Gogh's known works of art, produced over a period of eight years in the late 1800s.

For years, the painting – "Sunset at Mont Majour" – was dismissed as a fake. It was even banished to a collector's attic for a time.

But the work was recently authenticated as a true Van Gogh thanks in part to Don Johnson, Rice University Professor Emeritus of electrical and computer engineering.

Examining X-rays images of Van Gogh's paintings, Johnson studies the patterns and density in the weave of the canvas itself.

He found the new Van Gogh canvas wasn't consistent with any of the artist's others – except for one. And that painting happens to hang practically across the street from Don Johnson's office.

Johnson's analysis shows that "Sunset at Mont Majour" almost certainly came from the same roll of raw material as "The Rocks," another Van Gogh work, which is owned by Houston's Museum of Fine Arts.

"The fingerprint for this one and the fingerprint for the new one don't match," explained Professor Johnson, "but they're from different parts of the same piece of canvas."

In two weeks, the newly-anointed Van Gogh will go on display at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

After spending so much time with its X-ray image, Don Johnson hopes to fly out to see the painting in person – and in color.

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