Mittwoch, 01.04.2020 02:49 Uhr

Exhibition 'In the Picture' opens at the Van Gogh Museum

Verantwortlicher Autor: Paola Testoni x Charlotte de Groot Amsterdam, 22.02.2020, 12:40 Uhr
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 Van Gogh Museum Head Entrance
Van Gogh Museum Head Entrance  Bild: photo credits Van Gogh Museum

Amsterdam [ENA] An exhibition with a link to our contemporaneity has opened on February 21st at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. It is called "In the picture: Portraits of Artists" and goes on until May 24, 2020. In fact it offers us a unique perspective on the life of Van Gogh himself and many of his coevals.

The self-portrait is indeed a unique genre because not only does it point out the artist's technique and bravado but above all because it shows us how the artist saw himself and above all he wanted to be seen. Don't we also do this every day with our digital selfies full of filters and particular angles? Who and how do we want to show ourselves to others? This is the underlying question throughout the exhibition which includes masterpieces from other museums as well.

The spearhead is surely represented by Van Gogh's Self-portrait with bandaged ear from the Courtauld of London, applied on a dark-colored wall that makes a perfect contrast to the colors of the work (All other works by Van Gogh and contemporaries have a candid background that at the exhibition a decidedly fresh and spring air, but also intimate of home walls). The painting, painted a few days after the release from the hospital following the mutilation, shows an artist eager to start painting again (a easel in the background testifies to it) immersed in his room in the famous yellow house with the wall inspiration for the painter.

In the exhibition, however, not only Van Gogh: 75 portraits offer the versatile image of the wealth of self-portraits and portraits that artists made to each other in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Topics such as identity and image formation are central. The exhibition brings together big names and new faces. In addition to the portraits of Vincent van Gogh, works by Edvard Munch, Gustave Courbet, Francis Bacon and Helene Schjerfbeck are also on display. In addition, In the Picture presents works by modern artists and contemporaries who were inspired by Van Gogh's self-portraits.

The exhibition also consecrates the self-portrait of Van Gogh acquired in 1910 by the Nasjonalmuseet in Oslo whose authenticity was questioned in the 70s as the provenance was not complete and the style and color of the work not seen seen as characteristic of Van Gogh. Furthermore, there was no clear clarity among connoisseurs about the precise data of origin. Arles, but also Saint-Rémy-de-Provence e Auvers-sur-Oise were mentioned as a place of origin.

Vincent van Gogh, 'Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear', 1889. The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London.
Helene Schjerfbeck, 'Self-Portrait, Black Background', 1915. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki. Th
Vincent van Gogh, 'Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat', 1887, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

After extensive technical and stylistic research, the Van Gogh Museum is united with this conclusion: Van Gogh paints the self-portrait at the Saint-Rémy in the late summer of 1889, after a serious psychostic crisis. The self-portrait dated 1889 is shown in the figure, the exhibition is entirely dedicated to the role and meaning of the artist's portrait. The work will then return to Oslo, where it will be exhibited permanently once the new Nasjonalmuseet opens in the spring of 2021. In the photo until 24.5.2020

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