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Vincent van Gogh is one of the Netherlands’ master painters and there’s an entire museum devoted to him and his artwork. Learn more about which famous Dutch designer drew the designs for this museum and which painting are on display.
Want to check out the Van Gogh Museum? Hop on our Hop On Hop Off bus or boat and do some sightseeing along the route.
The one and only Van Gogh museum is situated at the Museum Square in Amsterdam. When you enter the square from the city center sight, you first pass under the Rijksmuseum, walk by the MOCO and then on your left hand you’re able to enter the magnificent Van Gogh Museum.
During his life, Van Gogh only sold two of his paintings. That seems like a shame, but it turns out it’s for the better. When Van Gogh died in 1890, his entire collection of paintings and letters, etc. was inherited by his younger brother and later passed on to many more generations of the Van Gogh family.
A few more paintings were sold during that time, but they mostly stayed in possession of the family. In 1960 the Van Goghs started a Vincent Van Gogh Foundation and a few years later the paintings and other artifacts were sold to The Netherlands for 15 million guilders (approximately 6.8 million euros).
The collections holds 200 of Vincent van Goghs paintings, 400 of his drawings, all his letters and also works from Gaugain. One of the conditions for the selling of the art to The Netherlands was that the collection should always stay together.
With 200 paintings from Van Gogh himself, it’s hard to list them all. But we can summarize a few of the best known art pieces. For instance, the Potato Eaters, his Selfportrait from 1886, the Sunflowers, the Almond Blossom and Vincent’s Bedroom are on display in the Van Gogh museum.
The museum doesn’t exclusively shows works of Van Gogh. You’re also able to admire art works from Gaugain for instance. This way you get a glimpse of the period they shared painting together and get a broader idea of Vincent’s life. Did you know Van Gogh was inspired by the Japanese culture and art? His famous Almond Blossoms are partly inspired by Japanese woodwork, for instance.
When the Van Gogh collection was bought by the Dutch government, it was time to build a museum. So in 1973 the Van Gogh Museum opened its doors. The project was assigned to Dutch graphic artist, architect and furniture designer, called Gerrit Rietveld. Yes, it’s the same Gerrit Rietveld as from the famous chairs!
In 2002 two paintings were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum. Although the two thieves were arrested in 2003, the Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen and View of the Sea at Scheveningen were recovered in 2016. The paintings were found in Italy at a member member of the mafia in Pompeï, due to the help of one of the thieves. Since 2017 they’re back at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Check out the documentary about the burglary – with the point of view from the thief – for more background information about the thieves and the heist.
Do you really want to submerge yourself in the life of Van Gogh? That’s actually very easy, did you know? You’re able to take a Van Gogh bus tour to Nuenen, the village Van Gogh lived for a long time and discover special landmarks and the village of this famous painter. When you arrive back in Amsterdam, you can go straight to the Van Gogh Museum to gaze at his art – since a free ticket to the museum is included in the bus tour.
You’re able to buy tickets for the Van Gogh Museum online – per timeslot. This way you’re ensured of a perfect time in the museum without having to wait to long.
The museum is opened every day of the week, from 9:00 and 19. On Saturdays even until 21:00.