The Van Gogh Museum is rather surprisingly dedicated to Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. Although the museum is certainly not the first one tourists visit in Amsterdam (the Rijksmuseum is far more popular, the Stedelijk Museum probably as well), Van Gogh fans should not miss it for the world. The Van Gogh Museum is situated right between the other two museums mentioned on the Museumplein. The collection is divided into three sections:
1. Vincent van Gogh
Of course the most important part of the building is taken by Van Gogh's own work. Five periods, named after the places he stayed in, give a clear view of the artist's development:
- The Netherlands (1880-1885) - most striking painting: De Aardappeleters (The Potato Eaters).
- Paris, France (1886-1888) - most striking paintings: Numerous self-portraits (with or without hats, clearly a favourite way to dress up for Van Gogh).
- Arles, France (1888-1889) - most striking paintings: Veld met bloemen bij Arles (Field with flowers near Arles), De stoel van Gauguin (Gauguin's chair), Zonnebloemen (Sunflowers).
- Saint-Rémy , France (1889-1890) - most striking paintings: Irissen (Irises), Olijfgaard (Olive Grove).
- Auvers-sur-Oise (1890) - most striking painting: Korenveld met kraaien (Wheatfield with Crows), De tuin van Daubigny (Daubigny's Garden).
2. Other artists
The paintings in this section are all from the Van Gogh period. The painters have been influenced by the Dutchman vice versa. To mention a few of them:
3. History of the collection
This part contains information about the historic facts of Vincent van Gogh's work, especially the paintings owned by the museum itself. Originally the collection was owned by Vincent's younger brother Theo. When he also died in 1891, his widow Johanna inherited the works, of which she sold a few. Her son, Vincent Willem van Gogh (1890-1978), got hold of the collection after her death. On instigation of the Dutch state, Vincent Willem gave the works to the Vincent van Gogh Stichting (Dutch word for foundation) in 1962. This section also provides information about the other artists present in the museum.
The building was designed by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld, whose name might sound familiar to a lot of people because of his famous Red Blue Chair. The Van Gogh Museum was opened in 1973.
Who else than the Van Gogh Museum itself provided me with these wonderful facts... You can visit their website at www.vangoghmuseum.nl