14 August 2014
Prize-winning app enabling technical exploration of Van Gogh now expanded.
The Touch Van Gogh app, enabling viewers to discover minute details in the paintings of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), has now been expanded with three more works: The Cottage, Seascape near Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and Garden of the Asylum. Axel Rüger, Director of the Van Gogh Museum: “With the second release of this prize-winning app people can now unravel six iconic paintings of the most famous Dutch artist to get to the bottom of the secrets of Van Gogh's painting technique and working method. The app, made for tablet, uses multi-touch functions so that users can discover at home what is hidden in and underneath the paint. We have thus made the results of many years of complex material-technical research into Van Gogh's working method accessible to a large audience.”
For instance, you can now discover that The Cottage was painted on a canvas that Van Gogh had previously used for a painting of a shepherd with his flock of sheep. In Seascape near Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a painting that he made en plein air, you can still detect grains of sand in the paint. In the painting Garden of the Asylum you can unravel all the layers of the typical thick impasto applied by Van Gogh and by means of a magnifying glass you can take a look underneath the frame, so that you may understand the effect of the discolouration of a red pigment in the paint. The app in English that now unravels six Van Gogh's paintings is compatible with iOS 6 and Android and can be downloaded for free via the Apple Store and Google Play.
In October, the Van Gogh Museum launched the first release of the Touch Van Gogh app with three works by Van Gogh. In The Bedroom the old layer of varnish can be peeled off the painting. The colour reconstruction also shows which colour the painting had been before the discolouring of the red pigment, so that the walls are no longer lilac but blue. In Daubigny's Garden you can discover that the painting was made on a tea towel. And when you theoretically wipe off the paint from View from Theo’s Apartment you will find that Van Gogh recycled his canvasses.
App wins award
In April, the Touch Van Gogh app was awarded the Heritage in Motion Award 2014 for the Apps for mobile devices category, a multimedia competition organized biannually that focuses on the makers and users of film, games, apps and websites promoting Europe's heritage. The jury appreciated that ‘by means of this app users can come closer to the work and the intentions of the painter than ever before and can in a sense rediscover the paintings.’