Monday, May 06, 2013

Van Gogh Museum ReOpens

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has reopened after a seven-month renovation. The museum kicked off with a new exhibition "Van Gogh at Work," an exhibition that shows the tortured artist's working methods right down to his paints, brushes and other tools. There is a self portrait in which the artist painted himself behind a canvas, brushes and palette in hand. On loan from the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, are an actual palette and paints that Van Gogh used. They were preserved by Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet, the physician who treated the artist in the final months before his 1890 suicide. 145 paintings and sketches are on display, almost double the museum's usual collection.

A highlight is the display of two versions of Van Gogh's famed yellow "Sunflowers," hung on either side of a green-dominated portrait he painted known as "La Berceuse." A surviving letter, written by Van Gogh, he indicated that he intended the paintings, which usually hang in three different museums, to be displayed that way. The museum displays a replica of part of the letter, which shows sketches of the three paintings in miniature. With the reopening of the museum, all three of the city's biggest art museums are open for the first time in years. The Rijksmuseum, or national museum, which houses national treasures and many of the greatest masterpieces of painters such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and Jan Steen, opened in April after an epic 10-year, top-to-bottom overhaul. The Van Gogh Museum receives a million visitors a year and is known for long lines, but it has now started a new Internet reservation system that aims to smooth the flow of traffic over the day.

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