The art collector and luminary who founded the New York Academy of Art with Andy Warhol in 1979 says he’s rediscovered a long-lost Vincent van Gogh masterpiece at an obscure country auction.
New York collector Stuart Pivar says the painting, “Auvers, 1890” — in its original condition and signed on the back by “Vincent” — is a “once-in-a-lifetime find.” And the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has requested he send it to them for immediate authentication.
The piece, if authentic, was likely painted in the last two months of the famed artist’s life. Van Gogh shot himself in a wheat field in July 1890 — possibly in one of the fields that appears in the painting, Pivar believes.
Van Gogh obsessively painted more than 70 works in the last two months of his life in Auvers, on the outskirts of Paris.
Pivar said, “This is what we are considering to be the greatest art find in 100 years. It’s the biggest painting van Gogh ever made [and] the only one he ever made in a square format. It is on its way to the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam because they have requested to see it and authenticate it.
“We consider this to be the find of the century. What is amazing is this painting has never been touched: It is still in its original stretcher. You would never ever see a painting from this period that hasn’t gone through some kind of restoration.
“The French say it’s ‘Dans son jus’: in its original juices, in its original condition. That is the rarity of this piece.”
An email sent from the van Gogh Museum to Pivar, seen by Page Six, reads, “We have sent you an email a few days ago that due to COVID-19 the museum and offices are closed and therefore it is also unable to do an authentication request.” However, “We have decided to make an exception for you.” The museum only agrees to authenticate a few paintings a year.
The painting, signed and dated 1890, is a square panorama of the valley of Auvers, showing its mosaic of wheat fields bisected by a railway line. It also bears the label of Jonas Netter, one of the most influential collectors of the early 20th century, who discovered Amedeo Modigliani.