Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Theta and I did spend a lot of time going to museums in Amsterdam so there’s bound to be some blog posts to be written about it. First blog about this amazing museum tour we did is the van Gogh museum.
Because I grew up in the Netherlands and basically van Gogh is one of the most famous Dutch painters and we learn a lot about him in school, I never had really any interest in him. Not even when I took art history classes in high school.
But me becoming a whovian and watching the episode Vincent and the Doctor did give me a new appreciation for him as an artist and I was really excited to go to the museum. Unfortunately we wouldn’t be able to see the paining recently discovered; because the display would be a couple of days later then we were visiting. But enough said now, here’s my experience of the van Gogh museum.
- Name: van Gogh museum
- Place: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
- Website: http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/vgm/index.jsp
- Date of visit: Saturday the 21st of September 2013
- Permanent collection: paintings by van Gogh
- Price: €15,-
I didn’t knew upfront which paintings by van Gogh were on display, seeing as he is a famous artist a lot of paintings are on loan to other museums, but I knew at least his famous sunflowers painting would be there. And guess what, a lot of other paintings featured in the Doctor Who episode as well.
I recommend if you are able to either buy tickets online, or get an I love Amsterdam card. Or if you’re a Dutchie, a museum card. This because the queue is awful and you can skip it with these options.
The museum itself is located at ‘museumplein’ where you can also find the ‘rijksmuseum’ so it’s wise to do both museums in one day if you like to watch stuffy old paintings like I do.
I took some pictures inside the museum, seeing as you are allowed to do so (without flash) and I will give you the screenshots from the Doctor Who episode as well. Together with the description about the artwork I copied from the museums website.
First up his famous sunflowers (1889) painting: (and isn’t it a shame we couldn’t detect ‘for Amy’ written on it.) ‘I am working with the enthusiasm of a man from Marseilles eating bouillabaisse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because I am busy painting huge sunflowers.’ It was August, the sunflowers were blooming, and Van Gogh desperately wanted to capture them in a series of 12 pictures. Because the flowers wilted so quickly, he worked on his canvases every day.
He painted the series to decorate the room where Paul Gauguin would stay when he arrived in Arles. He chose this subject because his friend had previously admired his paintings of sunflowers run to seed.
In the end, Vincent executed four sunflower still lifes; however, he felt only two were good enough to hang in Gauguin’s bedroom. He was later to paint three copies of them, one of which is the version in the Van Gogh Museum.
Wheatfield with crows (1890) as seen in the opening credits of the episode: Wheatfield with Crows is one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings and probably the one most subject to speculation. It was executed in July 1890, in the last weeks of Van Gogh’s life. Many have claimed it was his last work, seeing the dramatic, cloudy sky filled with crows and the cut-off path as obvious portents of his coming end. However, since no letters are known from the period immediately preceding his death, we can only guess what his final work might really have been.
Irises (1890) and although this isn’t the painting used in the show, that one has a pink background, it’s close enough for me: In 1889 and 1890 Van Gogh stayed in a psychiatric hospital in the southern French village of Saint-Rémy. He worked hard there, seeking the majority of his subjects in nature. After a period of illness that ended in April 1890, he threw himself into the production of a number of flower still lifes. He painted roses and two canvases with large bunches of purple irises. One of these was painted against a pink background, ‘the other purple bouquet (which extends to pure carmine and Prussian blue), is set against a bright lemon-yellow background with other yellow tints in the vase & the base it stands on. Its effect is one of enormously divergent complementary colors that are exalted by their oppositions,’ he wrote in a letter to his brother Theo.
Self-portrait as a painter ( 1888): Although he painted many self-portraits, this is one of the few in which Van Gogh depicted himself as an artist, with all the necessary equipment: palette, brushes, and a canvas on a wooden easel.
Contrasting colors, such as the blue of the smock and the orange-red of the beard, are set right next to each other in order to strengthen their effect. The red and green strokes of the face are placed so close together that they appear as a grey shadow when seen from a distance.
While most of Van Gogh’s other self-portraits are rather sketchy, this one has been finished down to the last detail. The short, dry strokes have been applied with care. Van Gogh probably worked on the painting for some time, and he was apparently quite satisfied with it: in contrast to most of his works in this genre, he has signed it prominently.
The bedroom (1888): Here, Van Gogh has depicted his bedroom in the Yellow House, furnished with simple pine furniture and his own paintings. Over the bed hang his portraits of the poet Eugène Boch and the soldier Paul-Eugène Milliet.
The most striking aspects of this work are the bright patches of contrasting color, the thickly applied paint and the odd perspective. The rear wall appears strangely angled. This is not a mistake: this corner of the Yellow House was, in fact, slightly skewed.
Elsewhere, however, the objects seem to tilt upward because the artist has not applied the laws of perspective accurately. Van Gogh worked this way on purpose. In a letter to Theo he stated that he had “flattened” the interior and left out the shadows so that his picture would more closely resemble a Japanese print. But the artist was interested in more than just making a Japanese image. The simple interior and bright colors were meant to convey notions of “rest” and “sleep,” both literally and figuratively.
These are just some of the paintings in both the museum and the Doctor Who episode. I suggest you go see it for yourself. And it was only too bad we didn’t get to see Starry Night and the Church at Auvers for ourselves, that would have been even more brilliant.
Oh and the last painting I wanted to show you guys is another self portrait, now isn’t the resemblance just creepy?
But if you are a fan of beautiful art, a whovian, or just a museum geek, and you happen to find yourself in Amsterdam, go visit the van Gogh museum.
Lots of love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.
PS: Disclaimer: I do not own the pictures used in this blog, besides the photos I took myself. No copyright infringement intended. Everything belongs to their respective owners. All the opinions stated in this blog are my own.
PPS: the van Gogh museum noticed my blogpost, how amazing is that: