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A New Van Gogh Exhibit Takes You Through the Changing Seasons

If you’re living down under, get over to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the largest collection of van Gogh paintings to ever travel to Australia.
Vincent van Gogh Dutch 1853–90 The green vineyard 2–3 October 1888 Arles oil on canvas 72.2 x 92.2 cm Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (KM 104.607) © Kröller-Müller Museum. Images courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria.

As any van Gogh enthusiast will tell you, the 19th century post impressionist has a serious infatuation with the changing seasons. From Spring's blossoming orchards, to Winter's gray skies and frozen fields, the seasons represented the circle of life to van Gogh. Now you watch the seasons rotate through the artist's eyes in the new Van Gogh and the Seasons exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. With nearly 50 paintings and drawings by the Dutch artist—the largest collection of works by van Gogh to ever travel to Australia—curator and former Head of Collections at the Van Gogh Museum, Sjraar van Heugten, has put together a rounded exhibition of works that explore the painter's incredible ability to capture the seasons in ways that engage all of the senses.


Vincent van Gogh Dutch 1853–90 The parsonage garden in the snow January 1885 Nuenen oil on canvas on wood panel 53.0 x 78.0 cm Hammer Museum, Los Angeles The Armand Hammer Collection, gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation

The show has been broken up into four sections assigned to each season. The paintings in the exhibition depict many of the cities and villages where van Gogh saw some of his most defining moments. Van Gogh's paintings capture the saturated red-and-yellow fields of Brabant, where the artist was born and spent much of his early; the golden wheat fields of Arles in Southern France; the lush meadows of Saint-Rémy de Provence, where he was treated for mental illness, and ultimately the gothic buildings of Auvers-sur-Oise, where he committed suicide in 1890.

Vincent van Gogh Dutch 1853–90 View of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer 1/3 June 1888 Arles oil on canvas 64.2 x 53.0 cm Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (KM 106.327) © Kröller-Müller Museum

Van Gogh was a prolific artist. Even though he only painted for about a decade, Van Gogh's oeuvre adds up to a total of nearly 900 paintings; that's an average of about two per week. The National Gallery is hosting paintings on loan from museums around the world. In addition to major donations from collections the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the exhibition received paintings from the Los Angeles Hammer Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, and the Honolulu Museum of Art.

Vincent van Gogh Dutch 1853–90 Farmhouse in Provence June 1888 Arles oil on canvas 46.1 x 60.9 cm National Gallery of Art, Washington Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection (1970.17.34)

Vincent van Gogh Dutch 1853–90 Tree trunks in the grass late April 1890 Saint-Rémy oil on canvas 72.5 x 91.5 cm Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (KM 100.189) © Kröller-Müller Museum

Vincent van Gogh Dutch 1853–90 Trees and undergrowth July 1887 Paris oil on canvas 46.2 x 55.2 cm Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam Vincent van Gogh Foundation 

Van Gogh and the Seasons is on at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne from April 28th to July 9th. Learn more about the show on the National Gallery's website.


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