13 януари 2021

Livestream Art Tour “Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam”

Last month I started seeing very often on Facebook, an advertisement about an event - Livestream Art Tour “Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam” organized and hosted by Robert Kelleman, the founder/director of the non-profit community organization Washington, DC History & Culture. This is an online/virtual tour of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. As I feel strongly about the country (in 2013 I spent almost a month there, Delft is a favorite place of mine and I like Vermeer) but I do not know very well Amsterdam and did not visited this museum, I hardly made a registration for a Sunday tour last week (a lot of tours before were fully booked). I have not seen any of the 6 movies on the life of Vincent, but saw the only one on Vermeer. It’s an hour and a half free tour and it is very interesting, there were people from all over the world participating, I learned a lot of things to share here for those who will not do the tour.

The Van Gogh Museum holds the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world, plus works by many other artists including Monet, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec. The museum opened on 2 June 1973, and its buildings were designed by Gerrit Rietveld and Kisho Kurokawa. The permanent exhibit in the beginning of the museum present Vincent self-portraits in chronological order. He made overall 36 self-portraits with 17 belonging to this museum.

Vincent Van Gogh created overall 868 oil paintings and 145 watercolors paintings - landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits. His style changed a lot through the years – at the beginning he painted with dark colors; at the end painted with more lively color and light.

Vincent Willem van Gogh (30.03.1853-29.07.1890) is born in the Netherlands as the oldest of 6 children, lived a lonely life and was not commercially successful; and died by gunshot wound.

His journey in the art started in the Netherlands and Belgium (1879-1886 early work): he was a school teacher, worked in an art gallery, made first watercolor painting -1879, 1881 - first oil still life (dark colors, less light)

Then he moved to Paris because Theo van Gogh (1857-1891), his brother was living in France and was working as an art dealer, where Vincent had his second period (Feb 1886-Feb 1888) – we saw Vincent the romantic - a portrait of a woman, his girlfriend (had a romantic relationship just for several weeks). From his 2end year in Paris we saw: Vase with Gladioli – Vincent already started painting flowers; exterior of a restaurant at Asnieres – started painting cafes, gardens, threes (more colorful, light colors, style also changed).

Then Vincent lived in Arles (Feb 1888-May 1889), in Saint-Remy de Provence (May 1889-May 1890), Auvers- sur-Oise (May-July 1890). When Vincent moved to South of France he created most of the well-known paintings; he painted outdoors - typical for impressionists using yellow, gold. Lived lonely in South of France, and loved writing letters (just like me) especially to Theo. Vincent thought that people can read the mind in the one’s words/letters (I also think like that). When he was living in Arles he created “The yellow house” and “Bedroom in Arles” with 3 versions of the bedroom painting- one in Van Gogh museum; in Chicago, and in Paris (Musee d’Orsay - a favorite museum of mine, visited twice); here he lived about a year and the ear incident happened in this bedroom.

A curious thing we learned - Vincent painted Paul Gauguin and himself as chairs “Van Gogh’s chair”, “Paul Gauguin’s armchair”, two self-portraits after the ear incident, after that he went for 1 year in a mental hospital.


Another curious thing: John Russell, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin painted portraits of Vincent, the only known photographic portrait of Vincent is from 1872 –– not as we can find in internet.

Vincent created a series of Sunflowers versions hold in London, Amsterdam. We learned something curious with this respect - frequently people chose to propose marriage in front of those Sunflowers paintings; and sometimes Vincent signed his works. I saw a very beautiful painting – “Almond Blossoms” – my favorite maybe from the tour, then “Vase with Irises”. In his last period Vincent created landscapes with a lot of blues, greens.

Vincent died by a gunshot wound, Theo died 6 months later, they are buried side by side in France. Vincent sister in law Johanna Gezina van Gogh inherited his collection and promoted his work and letters – she published a book with the letters from Vincent to Theo. Her son, and Vincent’s nephew - Vincent Willem Van Gogh (1890-1978) donated to the Dutch government his collection, which created this museum.

I recommend to make this interesting, informative, free tour. I see that there are a lot of forthcoming tours in January and February so take the chance.

all pictures are from the site www.eventbrite.com