Friday, 29 May 2009

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

VINCENT VAN GOGH The Potato Eaters

Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting) 

This is the last of my Amsterdam Blogs and I'm ending with what was one of my favourite places in Amsterdam: The Van Gogh Museum.

We chose a visit to Amsterdam specifically because of the 'Colours Of The Night' exhibition, with works lent by MOMA. Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' painting was the centrepiece of the exhibition, back in Amsterdam for the first time in 20 years. The exhibition was beautifully curated and took the viewer through night paintings that Van Gogh would have been aware of by other artists and then on to his early work, followed by the transition into his distinctive impressionist style of painting and finally his night paintings, showing his fascination with the stars. My favourite night painting wasn't the 'The Starry Night', but an earlier work called 'The Starry Night over the Rhone'. For me the painting had a peaceful but almost hypnotic quality and I felt compelled to view it again before leaving the exhibition. 

What I found so unbelievable was the relatively short period in which he was a painter, only ten years, and how extraordinarily productive he was in that time. It was hard to imagine how he maintained such an output when he wasn't having commercial success or even recognition for what he was doing.

The Van Gogh Museum kindly gave me permission to use an image of The Potato Eaters to illustrate my Blog. This painting looked incredibly contemporary. The way the faces of the peasants were painted reminded me of the style Scottish artist Peter Howson and also one of our own gallery artists John Johnstone.

We visited the exhibition on Jill's Birthday, she was celebrating a certain milestone and it was a lovely place to be on a special day.

The exhibition runs until the 7th of June, so not long left to see this brilliant exhibition.

Finally, I'll end with some snaps of us enjoying wonderful Amsterdam.

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