Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam – An art genius ahead of his time

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam – An art genius ahead of his time

Visit one of

Amsterdam’s most popular attractions and see the work of one of Holland’s most

famous individuals and artists. Located at the Museum Square the Van Gogh

Museum, which has the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s work,

makes for a nice outing even if you’re not an art lover.

An art genius ahead of his time

So often described as an art lover’s paradise,

the Van Gogh Museum by Amsterdam’s Museumplein (Museum Square) is one of the

most visited attractions in this popular city with around 1.6 million visitors

per year. However, an art lover I am not; that is not to say that I don’t

appreciate a good painting when I see one, I just don’t have any direct

interest in it myself. So when a friend suggested going to the Van Gogh Museum I

thought ‘hmm, how do I get myself out of this?’ But then I thought since I do

appreciate a bit of history along with all things cultural I should just go for

the ride. Plus since I’m now living here I owe it to my new peers to find out a

little more about one of the country’s greatest figures in art and history. What

a great decision I made as we were there admiring his work for about three

hours and didn’t even notice how much time had passed.

The collection is huge; in fact the world’s

largest collection of the Dutch painters work featuring more than 200

paintings, 500 drawings and over 700 hundred letters. Yes we’ve all heard about

him, but Vincent Van Gogh really was a genius and ahead of his time. It was interesting

to see the contrast between his early work and his later work. The early

paintings were very dark, sad and gloomy whereas the later became more

colourful and cheery and with more complex brush strokes. I picked a few

favourites along the way,

Tree roots


Three novels were two of them and

it was quite amusing to see the

A Pair of

Leather Clogs as we were joking that day that where ever we go clogs keep

creeping up and it seems they’d even followed us to the Van Gogh Museum. Clogs

of course are one of the key symbols of the Netherlands and to Van Gogh

symbolised peasant life, a theme to which he adapted a number of his paintings.

You can read up on each piece or work as you go

and learn about Van Gogh’s life too. The text is inspiring for some, just interesting

to others and skipped by a few but none the less it is there to inform and

educate. The optional audio guide that a lot of visitors choose also tells you

great stories about some of the pieces displayed. Along with the Van Gogh

collection there is an extensive collection of Impressionist and

Post-Impressionist works by artists who inspired Van Gogh or who drew

inspiration from him, as well as his friends and contemporaries.

We were there on a Saturday so it was quite

busy and at times there were a few too many people around one painting but overall

everyone circulated in good time. Although the ticket queue outside was quite

long, as it usually is on a weekend, so if you plan on visiting the Van Gogh

Museum then we recommend booking in advance. The museum runs the Friday Night

programme which is a series of on-going events that take place in the evenings;

this may be a great alternative night out doing something different.

Picture taking is not allowed but the gift shop

has plenty of souvenirs you can take away with you, they are however overpriced

but that’s expected at any gift shop.

A little summary

If you have a love for art or a love for Van Gogh’s

work then this is a must visit while on your short stay in Amsterdam. If you

get ‘dragged’ there like I did then don’t fear as you’re bound to have a good

time anyway, at the least the experience and knowledge you gain may prove an

impressive dinner conversation.

Opening Times and Fees:

The Van Gogh Museum is temporarily housed

at the Hermitage Amsterdam until 25 April 2013 where around 75 works of the museum’s

permanent collection are on display during the major renovation at its location

on Museumplein. The collection at the Hermitage is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm

costing 15 Euros for adults and free for up to 17 year olds. The audio tour

costs an extra 5 Euros.

The Van Gogh Museum at Museumplein reopens

on 1 May 2013.