What to See Inside the Van Gogh Museum | Dutch Master's Artistic Journey, Life, & Moments
The Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of the artist’s works, allowing visitors to witness the evolution of his genius. From his introspective self-portraits to immersive landscapes, the museum showcases it all. With audio guides and informative exhibits, the Van Gogh Museum offers an opportunity to critically engage with the artist’s works.
Highlights Inside Van Gogh Museum
What’s Inside Van Gogh Museum?
The Rietveld building houses the permanent collections of Vincent Van Gogh, while the Kurokawa wing contains the artist’s paintings, drawings, and letters. Some of the permanent exhibit’s earliest displays date back to 1882. Van Gogh was inspired by Paul Gauguin’s choice of colors and shared his love for Japanese prints and earthy tones with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The Van Gogh Museum allows visitors to look at and analyze his works along with his contemporaries.
The Potato Eaters
This painting shows a group of peasants, eating potatoes on a table. The gloomy atmosphere and the haggard faces depicted the reality, where peasants had to suffer to get a share of the very food they produced.
Van Gogh depicted sunflowers on five major canvasses. He used bright shades that imparted a sense of freshness and welcoming charm. The initial version had sunflowers lying on the ground while the later version shows them in a vase.
The drawing of almond branches against the blue skies remains one of the most celebrated pieces by Vincent Van Gogh. The blossoms signaling the arrival of spring depict a new beginning. Its theme was inspired by Japanese printmaking.
Self-Portrait with Grey-Felt Hat
Painted in 1889, Van Gogh used short stripes in bright colors like red, yellow, and green to depict himself in a grey felt hat. His presence in Paris during those years made him paint himself as a well-presented modern man.
Self-Portrait as a Painter
Van Gogh used a combination of complementary colors in this painting, where he depicted himself with a color palette, easel, and paintbrushes. He painted this around 1887 when he was experimenting with unblended colors for a more modern look.
The Yellow House
Made in 1888 at Arles, this artwork shows a yellow house with green shutters along with a couple of eateries. This was the house, where he often invited his friends to stay with him. He was amazed by the bright blue skies and sought to immortalize them.
Van Gogh painted his bedroom in 1888 and sought to incorporate multiple elements in it, like some plain furniture and his artworks. He deliberately faulted the corners of the room to showcase typical shadows commonly found in Japanese prints.
Throughout his life, Van Gogh painted many sowers. This painting, drawn in 1888, is slightly different, for it is more opulent and simple. The sun looks more like a halo, and the colorful background fades like a saint walking through the field.
Wheatfield with Crows
In this painting, Van Gogh rendered his vision of the end of life. The unkempt grasses and wild, unruly wheat stalks swaying, do not lead anywhere in particular. The sky filled with crows and the bright fields are said to depict the approaching end of life.
Wheatfield under Thunderclouds
In this artwork completed around 1890, Van Gogh depicted the loneliness and sadness of life through a grand landscape with a cloudy blue background. He used bright colors to show the phase of life that is healthy yet fortifying.
Painted in Auvers-sur-Oise, this artwork is one of Van Gogh’s last creations. The trees on the slopes, propping out of the ground are drawn with bright and vibrant strokes. It is said that the tree represents the cycle of life, from birth to death, to renewal.
Garden with Courting Couples
Van Gogh had named this sunny park scene ‘the painting of the garden with lovers’. It shows young lovers relaxing with a chestnut tree on a fine, spring day in the background. The brightness of the colors brings out a radiant spring day.
Since 2014, the museum has hosted temporary exhibitions showcasing limited, select works by Vincent and artists inspired by him, including Francis Bacon, Edvard Munch, and more. Currently, the museum features Van Gogh in Auvers and Dr. Gachet & Van Gogh: Experiments in Etching, exploring the final phase of Van Gogh's life and his relationship with the Doctor, both running until September 2023.
Van Gogh in Auvers
Vincent van Gogh resided in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, from May to July 1890, producing notable masterpieces like Wheatfield with Crows and The Church of Auvers-sur-Oise. The exhibition, in collaboration with Musée d'Orsay, traces his optimistic and ambitious journey, where he experimented with color, brushwork, and subjects, often completing multiple paintings a day. Despite the inspiring surroundings, Van Gogh's struggle with failure, loneliness, and melancholy led to his tragic decision to end his life. The exhibition showcases over 50 paintings and 30 drawings, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness Van Gogh's profound artistic legacy. Rare loans from global private collections and museums enrich the display. This exhibition is on display until September 2023.
Dr. Gachet & Van Gogh: Experiments in Etching
Vincent van Gogh relocated to Auvers-sur-Oise in May 1890, near his brother Theo in Paris and under the care of Dr. Paul Ferdinand Gachet (1828-1909), a doctor with a passion for art. Dr. Gachet, who owned a second house in Auvers, engaged in etching under the alias Paul van Ryssel. He had an etching press in his country house's attic and influenced artists like Cézanne, Pissarro, and Guillaumin to experiment with printing. Guided by Dr. Gachet, van Gogh created his only etching, exploring various colors alongside the traditional black ink. This intimate exhibition showcases van Gogh's prints, reveals Dr. Gachet's influence and the etching revival of that era, and offers a fascinating glimpse into the artistic collaboration between the two creative minds. This exhibition is on display until September 2023.
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Frequently Asked Questions About What’s Inside Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum’s collection includes over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 700 letters, providing a comprehensive overview of Van Gogh's artistic journey and his deep emotional and creative expression.
Yes, you need to book Van Gogh Museum tickets to take a tour inside the museum premises.
Yes, you can click pictures near the entrance and along the ‘selfie walls’. However, you are not allowed to click pictures of the artworks and museum exhibits.
You have to book Van Gogh Museum tickets to enjoy the permanent and temporary collections of the Dutch master.
Yes, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam hosts a large collection of the Dutch master’s works. It also houses other artworks by his contemporaries and provides a comprehensive view of the Dutch Golden Era. If you love art, you must visit the Van Gogh Museum.
The Van Gogh Museum was built by the Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld and opened its doors to the public on June 2, 1973. In the late 1990s, the museum underwent a major renovation and expansion project led by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. The museum has dedicated blocks in their name to honour them for their contribution.
The Van Gogh Museum is situated on Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
The Van Gogh Museum was built by the Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld and was opened to the public on June 2, 1973.