There are a number of places that you’re able to see Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Van Gogh museum when we were in Amsterdam. I’m not usually one for art galleries, but in the name of compromise, this was something my boyfriend chose to do.
As per usual, I was not looking forward to spending the afternoon dragging my feet around a gallery, and I was actually surprised when it was in fact something I really enjoyed. We arrived on our bikes in the afternoon at the Hermitage Museum where the Van Gogh collection was being held at the time, and secured them to some railings next to a house boat.
The Hermitage Museum itself is a stunning building. From the outside, it looks like a stately home, but as you head through the archway in the front you find yourself in a stunning courtyard. I can imagine the queues can get quite lengthy for the Van Gogh museum, but we managed to arrive when there were barely any people in the queue (probably because it was a couple of hours before closing time).
Vincent Van Gogh is a famed artist around the world, and even if you think you haven’t seen any of his work, you most probably have. One of his most famous and most replicated pieces is the painting of the sunflowers. I can recall having a photo of the painting up in my primary school, and I used to walk past it every school day for 3 years. So although I wasn’t overly keen on traipsing through looking at paintings, I was excited to see the original painting of the sunflowers.
We dropped off our bags and coats, and stepped into the first part of the museum. The general flow of the artwork follows Van Gogh’s life, and his life experiences are detailed as you go along, as well as the effect they had on his art. The reasoning behind his choices of colours and techniques, are explained in various ways, with a short film playing on a loop in a side room. It was actually so interesting I watched it twice!
I really enjoyed the museum, and it was such an insight into Van Gogh’s life. He had so many struggles, and at one point was placed in a mental institution to help him. However, he was caught eating paint and his creative release of painting was taken away from him.
The relationship between Vincent and his brother is really touching, with his brother providing a great deal of emotional and financial support through his life. The correspondence between the two has led to a great deal of explanation and understanding of Van Gogh’s life, and the letters are dotted around the museum.
I actually really enjoyed the museum and learning about Van Gogh’s life, and would definitely recommend a visit here. Next time I’m in Amsterdam I’ll be heading back for another visit!
- The museum collection is now back in it’s original home by the Rijksmuseum.
- Tickets are €17, but you can get a discount with the Holland Pass.
- Floor plans are available online to plan your trip in advance, and you can also buy tickets online.
- Nearest tram stops are Van Baerlestraat or Museumplein.