A tour of the world in Van Gogh paintings
Tragically, Vincent van Gogh never found success while he was alive; but, since his death in 1880, his renown grows larger every passing year. Today, he is widely acknowledged as one of the most brilliant, yet troubled, artists in the history of modern art.
His tragic life may be as well-known as his artwork. He was in and out of mental hospitals, and only one of his paintings sold in his lifetime. Despite his early death at 37 years old, van Gogh produced over 850 oil paintings and 1,500 prints - that’s one every 36 hours! Today, his work is in high demand: several of his pieces have sold for over 30 million dollars and 13 of his paintings have been stolen and later recovered. His work, both vast and varied in its significance, is shown in galleries and admired by people across the world.
New York, MoMA
Paris, Musée d’Orsay
Jerusalem, The Israel Museum
Tokyo, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation
Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Rotterdam, Museum Bojimans Van Beuningen
Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
Zurich, Kunsthaus Zürich
Sao Paulo, MASP - Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand
Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum
Another such work worth mentioning which can be seen at the museum is the Courtesan: After Eisen, from his “Japonisme” phase. The second half of the 19th century saw an increased interest in Japanese art in the west. Though this influence did not have a strong following in the Netherlands, it was instead all the rage among Parisians, with Van Gogh being no exception. His work was heavily influenced by Japanese printmaking and considered them masterpieces of the East, very much mirroring their style.
The ever famous The Bedroom and Sunflowers, is also on display in the Van Gogh Museum and is from his Arles phase, a term coined after his stay in Arles France known for its direct sunlight and picture-perfect landscapes. In a letter to his brother Theo on October 16, 1888, Van Gogh describes his inspiration of the painting, writing, “…I had a new idea in my head and here is the sketch of it. […] This time it's just simply my bedroom, only here color is to do everything, and giving by its simplification a grander style to things, is to be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general. In a word, looking at the picture ought to rest the brain, or rather the imagination.”
Van Gogh was multifaceted as a painter and a historical figure. As you can see, there is more to the artist than The Starry Night, and you don’t have to be just in New York or Paris to see one of his masterpieces.
Explore more Van Gogh.