Van Gogh in Antwerp and Paris: New perspectives

22 June 2011 - 18 September 2011

Vincent van Gogh resided in Antwerp and Paris from the end of 1885 to the beginning of 1888. The 93 paintings from that period in the Van Gogh Museum’s permanent collection have been extensively studied, yielding many new insights. For example, there are two small portraits that are identical in style, which appear to represent different men. Did Van Gogh depict himself and his brother Theo here?

Experiments with materials and techniques
There is also news regarding Van Gogh’s experiments with materials and techniques in this particular period. For instance, he re-used more canvases than we previously knew. And with the information from an analysis of the pigments used, some works could be dated more precisely.

Finally, Van Gogh’s artistic development in this period is traced. He arrived in Paris at the beginning of 1886 as a painter with an old-fashioned taste strongly determined by realism and left that city two years later as a genuine modernist. Thanks to this investigation, we now know fairly precisely how this intriguing process unfolded step by step, and the exhibition presents the most crucial moments along the way.

Vincent van Gogh, Portret van Theo van Gogh, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)Vincent or Theo?
Van Gogh produced a large number of self-portraits in Paris; according to prevailing opinion, he never painted his brother Theo, his confidant and staunchest ally. But the two brothers had quite similar features. The museum’s research team now suspects that one of Van Gogh’s ‘self-portraits’ is probably a portrait of his brother Theo.
What do you think? Give us your founded opinion and perhaps win a surprise Van Gogh package.

Behind the scenes videos
The paintings that Van Gogh made in Antwerp and Paris have been researched by senior conservator Ella Hendriks and senior researcher Louis van Tilborgh. They take you behind the scenes of the research. During your museum visit you can watch them for free on your smartphone (iPhone or Android) via our Wi-Fi network. They're also available on our YouTube channel.

Publications
Vincent van Gogh. Paintings 2: Antwerp & Paris
The 93 Antwerp and Paris paintings disclosed in this scholarly catalogue comprise self-portraits, flower still lifes and views of Montmartre. Supplemented with many comparative illustrations of works by Van Gogh and other artists, this publication is an indispensable reference book for both scholars and Van Gogh art lovers.
Vincent van Gogh. Paintings 2: Antwerp & Paris, Ella Hendriks and Louis van Tilborgh, with contributions by Margriet van Eikema Hommes and Monique Hageman, Van Gogh Museum / Waanders Publishers, International co-edition: Lund Humphries, 616 pages, 550 illustrations, Hardcover, with dust jacket
English, ISBN 978 90 00 8563 5, € 145 (available during the exhibition for the reduced price of € 99.50).

Van Gogh and Montmartre
In 1886, Vincent van Gogh went to live with his brother Theo in Montmartre. This vibrant quarter of Paris, with its many cafés, shops selling art and artists’ supplies and its cheap restaurants and brothels, was the bustling hub of artistic Paris. In the two years he spent there, the realistic painter of peasant life developed into a modern artist following in the footsteps of the Impressionists.
Van Gogh and Montmartre, Nienke Bakker, Van Gogh Museum Publications,
84 pages, 60 illustrations, hHardcover, in English, Dutch and French, ISBN 978 90 79310 258, Volume 6 in the Van Gogh in focus series,  € 10.

Sunday lecture
4 September, 2 pm: Van Gogh in Antwerp and Paris by Louis van Tilborgh and Ella Hendriks (Dutch and English sproken)

Free guided tours on Friday nights
7-7.30 pm (English) and 8-8.30 pm (Dutch). Please register at the information desk from 6 pm. See also full Friday night programme.

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