Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam, NL

van gogh museum tilleman

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, NL. Photo: Ronald Tilleman

Driving tour of Northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands. A highly sensitive artist of great renown only after his death, Vincent van Gogh has always intrigued me and the Van Gogh Museum was high on my list of destinations.

Museumplein in Amsterdam South, an open public space which hosts events and festivals, as well as the home to the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum.

Two buildings – the Rietveld Building designed by Gerrit Rietveld, opened in 1973, where the permanent collection is on display. The open central hall is influenced by the De Stijl group of which Rietveld was a member. The elliptical Kurokawa Wing designed by Kisho Kurokawa, completed in 1999, is the museum’s exhibition wing.

The New Entrance Hall, using the latest glass construction techniques, has recently opened. The structure is between the two buildings giving better access to both of them.

The largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh, more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 of his letters. As well as other artists of the 19th century, who inspired him and those whom he inspired.

Purchase a Museumkaart and also visit the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum for free.

Tambourin cafe

Heart in my coffee cup at Le Tambourin Cafe.

Le Tambourin café has a lovely view of Museumplein and the Kurokawa Wing.

To celebrate the opening of the new entrance in September 2015, a sunflower labyrinth was created in front of it. The 125,000 sunflowers were given away at the end of the day, it would have been amazing to see the whole of Amsterdam in yellow.

Although The Starry Night is in the MOMA’s permanent collection in New York, I was fortunate that it was on loan to the Van Gogh Museum during my visit, for only the second time in the museum’s history. This painting is proof that art should be experienced, up-close and personal, the thick sweeping brush strokes and vibrant colours elicit a turbulent emotional response. Painted at the asylum in Saint Rémy, one can imagine how the image might’ve correlated to his erratic behaviour at the time.

“This morning I saw the country from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big,” Vincent in a letter to his brother, Theo.

Gain insight into the artist’s pained psyche in Vincente Minnelli’s Lust for Life. Capital “T” Torture for Kirk Douglas (chin thankfully covered with beard). For a more touching portrayal, Vincent &Theo, depicts the complicated, symbiotic relationship between Vincent (a great performance by a young Tim Roth) and his supportive brother.