Van Gogh and Japan: A Love Story

19.07.2018

Courtesan (after Eisen), Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, October-November 1887 © Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

Van Gogh never once set foot in Japan, but his art was heavily influenced by certain Japanese works, such as those by Hiroshige and Hokusai. He collected their artwork and began by copying them, before gradually assimilating their style and creating his own vision of this singular aesthetic.

The “Van Gogh and Japan” exhibition, that was held in Amsterdam, retraced this moment in the painter’s life, when he was living in Paris and had devoted himself fully to his new-found passion for Japanese works. So what’s on offer? His own masterpieces, as well as around a hundred paintings from his personal collection. It’s a real treasure trove.

Almond Blossom, Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, February 1890 © Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

Bridge in the Rain (after Hiroshige), Vincent van Gogh, October-November 1887 © Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, Vincent van Gogh, 1889, The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London