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. 

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 at the Van Gogh Museum

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. 

Sunflowers at the Van Gogh Museum


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.

Almond Blossoms at the Van Gogh Museum

Almond Blossoms

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.

Van Gogh's Self-Portrait with Grey-Felt Hat at the Van Gogh Museum

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.

Van Gogh's Self-Portrait as a Painter at the Van Gogh Museum

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 at the Van Gogh Museum

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.

The Bedroom at the Van Gogh Museum

The Bedroom

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.

The Sower at the Van Gogh Museum

The Sower

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 at the Van Gogh Museum

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 at the Van Gogh Museum

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.

Tree Roots at the Van Gogh Museum

Tree Roots

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 at the Van Gogh Museum

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.

Temporary Exhibits

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.

Portrait of Doctor Gachet

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.

How to Get Inside Van Gogh Museum?

You have to purchase Van Gogh Museum tickets to enter the museum. We recommend you book tickets online to ensure a hassle-free touring experience on the day of your visit. If you book tickets online, you can skip ahead long queues and spend more time exploring Van Gogh’s artworks. 

Van Gogh Museum Visitor Tips

  • Wear Comfortable Shoes: Make sure to wear your most comfortable, closed shoes because exploring every one of Vincent Van Gogh’s artworks requires a fair amount of walking and standing.
  • Start from the Ground Floor: The museum has arranged Van Gogh’s artworks in chronological order, with his early works on the ground floor and his later years on the upper levels, so make sure to start your viewing journey from the ground. 
  • Reach Early: It is best to reach early in the morning right after the office traffic rush for comparatively lesser crowds. You can also visit around late afternoons for a quieter museum visit.
  • Adhere to the Rules: The Van Gogh Museum does not permit flash photography or tripods. You cannot take pictures of the exhibits or touch any of the artworks. Please follow these guidelines.
  • Book Guided Tours: If you want to delve deeper into Vincent Van Gogh’s life and learn how it shaped his artworks, book a guided tour. An experienced tour guide will give you more context as you walk through the Dutch master’s paintings.
  • Take out Sufficient Time for the Visit: We recommend you spend at least 2 to 3 hours exploring all of Van Gogh’s works at the museum.

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Frequently Asked Questions About What’s Inside Van Gogh Museum

What is inside the 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.

Can you tour the inside of the Van Gogh Museum?

Yes, you need to book Van Gogh Museum tickets to take a tour inside the museum premises. 

Can you click pictures at the Van Gogh Museum?

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. 

Is it free to view the Van Gogh Museum?

You have to book Van Gogh Museum tickets to enjoy the permanent and temporary collections of the Dutch master.

Is the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam worth visiting?

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. 

Who designed 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. 

Where is the Van Gogh Museum located?

The Van Gogh Museum is situated on Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

When was the Van Gogh Museum built?

The Van Gogh Museum was built by the Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld and was opened to the public on June 2, 1973.