The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Introduction

The most famous son of Holland, Vincent Van Gogh is celebrated throughout the city of Amsterdam. You will see prints of his artworks hung in cafes, coffee shops and banners in the streets.

If you want to get a fuller understanding of the man and his art, a visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a must while staying in the city. Located on Museumplein between Amsterdam’s national museum, the Rijksmuseum and the national gallery, the Stedelijk Museum, Van Gogh and his works are easy to find.

Van Gogh’s Permanent Collection

On arrival, you will find a permanent collection of Van Gogh’s work in the Rietveld Building, with major temporary exhibitions housed in the Kurokawa wing. There is plenty of visitor information on offer in the main atrium to help you plan your visit and decide what you want to see.

The permanent collection is home to a number of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, exhibited alongside lesser-known works. The collection walks you through the paintings in chronological order, telling the story of Van Gogh’s life woven together with the subjects he was choosing to paint and what else was happening in his life at the time the paintings were created.

The first pieces in the collection date back to his life in Nuenen in northern Holland from 1880-1885. The paintings from this period in Van Gogh’s life show some of the early signs of the brushwork and impressionistic style for which he later became famous, but are more subdued in terms of his use of colour and more grounded in artistic realism.

Paintings from his time in Paris start to show a real development in Van Gogh’s style, and the painting “Agostina Segatori Sitting in the Café du Tambourin demonstrates the first real signs of the style – particularly his portraiture – which he came to develop during his Parisian years and later in Arles.

The real gems of the Museum lie in the paintings from Van Gogh’s later life. The museum houses some of the most famous of Van Gogh’s paintings, including his most recognisable picture – Sunflowers. If this is the main reason you want to go to the Museum, it’s worth contacting ahead of your visit to make sure it’s at home. Of all the works, this is the one that’s most frequently loaned out to other galleries.

Other Notable Works

In addition to the comprehensive collection of Van Gogh’s works, the Museum also has a large collection of notable works by Van Gogh’s Impressionist and Post-impressionist contemporaries. Including sculptures by Rodin and Dalou, and an array of paintings by Monet, Manet, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec, there is plenty to keep you interested beyond Van Gogh’s paintings alone. The exhibitions are presented to show how the work of these great men of art intersected and how they influenced one another.

The Museum is extensive, and with the permanent collections and the temporary exhibitions there is more than enough to keep you occupied for several hours. There is a cafe for you to take time to chew over what you’ve seen with a coffee and a tosti, and an excellent gift shop where you could easily absorb yourself for another hour in the books about Van Gogh’s life and works and choosing posters of his artworks to take home as a memento of your visit.

Conclusion

The Museum is open every day, apart from 1 January, from 10am-6pm. If you choose to visit on a Friday, you can take advantage of their late opening and browse the collection until 10pm. Whenever you chose to visit, you can’t fail to come away feeling inspired.

Whilst visiting Amsterdam it’s great to have a car, so visit the Car Rentals website for all your car hire needs.

Image Credits: Wikipedia 1 and 2.

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