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,
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.