Abdul Muqeet Waheed
Famous pieces by its native son, Vincent Van Gogh, may be found throughout the Van Gogh Museum. This man was a true master of creativity.
Interestingly, the Van Gogh Museum is home to the most extensive exhibit of the Dutch artist’s creations, including some of his early attempts at painting, such as The Potato Eaters and Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette.
The museum offers a close-up view into the lives and thoughts of the creative genius with more than 200 paintings, 500 sketches, and 700 letters. In addition to his well-known works, such as Self-Portrait and The Bedroom, you’ll also see some of his less famous but still compelling paintings.
I must admit that going to a museum is not my favorite leisure activity, but if you’re traveling in the Netherlands, you must stop by the Van Gogh Museum.
Today, one of the most well-known and significant personalities in Western art is Vincent van Gogh. Even if you are not a fan of art, it is nevertheless excellent to include a visit to the Van Gogh Museum in your schedule for the Netherlands. Unfortunately, due to its popularity, the museum may sometimes be overrun by huge crowds.
The Van Gogh Museum exceeded my expectations in every way. The analysis discussed Van Gogh’s background, childhood, creative influences, working methods, mental health difficulties, and significant connections. With several of the works presented via a humanistic lens and interpretation that closely related each piece to Van Gogh’s victories and failures, the tale was extraordinarily rich.
Overview of Museum
When you push your forehead against the glass and look inside, the Van Gogh Museum’s front is quite modern and spacious with a wall of windows that slopes down to a sizable garden floor space. The majority of the collection is held in the less stunning structure across the walkway from the gleaming Van Gogh Museum entrance, and it has a surprisingly contemporary interior.
The layout of the museum is excellent. A chronology of van Gogh’s life is located on floor zero, the main level. The first floor displays van Gogh’s formative years as an artist. The greatest floor is floor 3, while floor 2 has information about van Gogh’s family and personal life. The classic van Gogh style and the years spent in an institution before his suicide at the age of 37 may be seen on this floor. Maps are available at the Van Gogh Museum or you may download them online.
Book Your Ticket in Advance
Tickets for the Van Gogh Museum can be purchased online, so be sure to do that before you visit. The ticket queue and the entry line are two different big queues at the museum.
Usually, there is a very massive line for tickets. Purchase a ticket online in advance rather than just turning up at the museum.
You’ll save a tonne of time by purchasing your ticket online! You select a time slot when purchasing the tickets, and you have 30 minutes to arrive. You are not permitted to visit the museum after the allotted time has passed. Avoid arriving before the start of your time slot since you will be sent home if you do. Four months in advance, tickets can be purchased. To make your visit simpler and more pleasurable, be sure to reserve your tickets at the Van Gogh Museum’s website.
My Experience with Van Gogh Museum
The Ground Floor
More than a dozen of the artist’s self-portraits could be found in the first exhibit I came across as I walked into Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum. Even though they all depict the same topic and were primarily painted in the same year, 1887, barely three years before his passing, they are quite unlike.
Van Gogh’s Self-Portraits
The first stop on the tourist trip is a history of Van Gogh’s life and a chamber devoted to his self-portraits. I think that every single piece is unique. These works are the most accurate representations of Van Gogh as a person and of how he felt about himself at any particular time.
About 35 of Vincent’s self-portraits are on show on the first floor of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Some of them are unfinished since he merely used them as a means of practice. Additionally, he had no actual desire to sell any of them.
You might be wondering why you should see the replica when the Van Gogh Museum has the original painting, “Sunflowers.” In light of the fact that this reproduction is pretty excellent. There is only one painting that you can touch and smell, too!
Whenever he worked on a piece of art, Vincent commonly utilized thick paint, and the “Sunflowers” was no exception. For those who struggle with vision, this reproduction was made. On the other hand, it’s a fantastic method to experience his art through various senses.
The First Floor
Each picture has a distinct appearance, sometimes appearing as though Van Gogh painted a completely different guy. The technique of each image varies as well—here it is smooth and realistic, and there it is rough with brushstrokes. The characteristic of Van Gogh’s work throughout the very extensive collection in the museum is this apparent desire to grab his own identity and hang on to his art, even while he was losing his mind—to fight “The good fight.”
Viewers are also presented with Van Gogh’s palette in this room, which was a really strange experience. It’s light and weathered look revealed the many excursions it has made through the streets and fields of Arles and Provence.
The Potato Eaters
Van Gogh’s artworks from the beginning 5 years of his artistic career, painted when he lived in the Netherlands, are displayed in the first room on this floor. The Potato Eaters is his first masterwork because of the way he manipulates the light and depicts the hard lives of peasants.
Bedroom in Arles
The Van Gogh Museum’s “Bedroom in Arles,” another of his extremely well-known masterpieces, is a standout. This work of art motivated a whole generation of surrealist painters that came behind him by experimenting with contrasts and utilizing aggressive outlines.
Van Gogh’s Sunflowers series, which he painted in 1887, is still well-known for its expressive use of color and arrangement. In contrast to earlier artists’ more finely produced still-lifes, Van Gogh chose to depict his subject in a more relaxed, natural state.
The Second Floor
In terms of both the number of work and the power, they possessed, the second floor was the bulkiest. A selection of works by painters like Jean-François Millet that featured peasants were displayed to visitors. It was clear why Van Gogh was known as “The Painter of the Peasants” after viewing this exhibit. Farmers might be seen working in the fields in peace with nature, as Van Gogh preferred to paint, and they were frequently delighted to pose for painters. Van Gogh was drawn to them because of the purity of life and spirit they symbolized. He was intrigued by how close to nature they were and how simply they lived.
On the second floor, guests continue to learn more about the multifaceted artist that Van Gogh actually was. Van Gogh was inspired to paint colorful and delicate impressions by a collection of Japanese woodblock prints that he and his brother Theo had. This break from the erratic brushstrokes and unexpected palette, as shown in the piece below (far left), was an intriguing revelation for the audience who believes they know Van Gogh.
Van Gogh’s Letters
Van Gogh would be known as a brilliant poet if he wasn’t regarded as one of the greatest painters in history. To his brother Theo and several companions, particularly those who were artists, Vincent sent a lot of letters. He not only talked about the paintings he was working on but also provided little sketches of them. They’re available on the second level for reading or listening. And while visiting the Van Gogh Museum, you should definitely not miss them.
Vincent’s Painting Material
The Van Gogh Museum also contains a wealth of information regarding Vincent’s style of painting and creative process. That aspect of his work is featured only in one room of the museum. The perspective frame, the tools he made himself, the pigments he used, and his color experiments are all included.
The Third Floor
This artwork truly stands out because of its serenity and lovely symbolism, even if at the end of his life, mental illness became increasingly apparent in his works. The meaning of the new life was evident throughout the painting, which Vincent created for his little nephew.
Wheatfield with Crows
Even though it wasn’t his final work, this one really represents Vincent’s passing. It has some unsettling meaning because it features a large wheatfield, where he used to paint during the last two months of his life, and a night sky with black crows circling overhead.
The artwork throughout the whole collection reflected the seriousness that pervaded the disturbed artist’s life. In contrast to his rendition of the traditional pietà, which shows himself as the suffering Christ, his stark and beautiful skeletal picture with a lighted cigarette is a modern art reminder. This reference to religion is not surprising because Van Gogh wanted to be a religious person before devoting himself to his creative career. But to see himself portrayed as the crucified Christ was a stark visual reminder of exactly how often he suffered on a regular basis and also how misunderstood he must have felt by his family, society, and his contemporaries.
Even though the Van Gogh Museum offers tremendous material, my visit was hampered in part by a strong commercialism culture. In an unfortunate twist of fate, considering that Van Gogh was unable to sell any of his artwork while he was alive, the museum bearing his name has built a thriving industry by using his artwork to adorn everything from lipstick boxes to packages of potato chips.
Some Tips for Visiting Museum
- Visit the top-floor bookstore.
- Visit the museum cafe to take a rest.
- In a museum, pictures are not permitted.
- Put your phone on silent so you can admire Van Gogh’s artwork more fully.
- For a better experience, go to the museum when there are fewer people there.
- Do not carry big bags.
- Use the interactive audio guide.