What it Means to Navigate the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

Van Gogh Museum Tour
Van Gogh Museum

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous Dutch Impressionist painters of all time, whose works resonates even in this day and age. The Van Gogh Museum is home to the largest collection of artworks by the artist who goes by the nickname ‘Christ of the Coal Mines’.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam occupies two buildings that house works of art namely the Rietveld Building launched in 1973 and Kurokawa Wing in 1999. Both sections of the museum are being connected by an elevator, which starts from the ground floor. While the one designed by Gerrit Rietveld is home to the permanent or private collections of the museum, the other one designed by Kisho Kurokawa stages temporary exhibits for the public.

The ground floor of the museum is home to artworks by Vincent Van Gogh’s contemporaries including those to have influenced his works such as Paul Gauguin, Charles Daubigny, and Jean-François Millet, to name three. Van Gogh’s works of art are housed on the first floor of the museum mostly as per the chronological order. In that section, visitors come across some of Van Gogh’s early paintings such as 1885’s ‘The Potato Eaters’ and subsequent works. Note that Van Gogh started painting only late into his twenties and suffered a premature death in northern France.

The permanent collections devoted to the artist resonates on the first floor and the one that attracts those on a Van Gogh Museum tour the most is ‘Sunflowers’, which was painted while he was in Arles in late 1880’s. Replete with rich tints of gold, ochre, and orange colors, Van Gogh’s depiction of sunflowers is a thing of innate beauty.

Vincent Van Gogh had an affinity towards painting landscapes and objects from nature. The post-impressionism painting ‘Wheatfield with a Reaper’ shows Van Gogh on crossroads of depicting expressionistic style. It gives no traces of the kind of trauma he went through during his stay in Auvers-sur-Oise, the French commune where he died.

The floors above the first provide a backup to the museum and occasionally stages exhibitions, which focus on Van Gogh’s artistry and life. The third floor conserves sketches and drawings from both private collections and temporary exhibits of the museum, which further illustrates Van Gogh’s influences on other artists to the visitors.