By now I’m fairly sure that you’ve either seen or heard about the immersive Van Gogh experience, the one where you are in a very large room and his works are projected on the walls. This is not that. This is much more intimate. Here at the Columbus Museum of Art you get to see Van Gogh’s works at the size they were painted along with works of art that influenced him by contemporary impressionists and post-impressionists painters, such as Paul Gauguin and Claude Monet (to name two very famous painters) along with other artists that Van Gogh worked with and or was inspired by.
Claude Monet, French 1840 -1926, View of Bennecourt 1887, Oil on Canvas
Paul Gauguin, French 1848-1903, Christmas Night (The Blessing of the Oxen) 1902-3, Oil on Canvas
Next to each piece of work is – besides the name of the work of art, the artist, year painted and what medium – information about their personal connection to Van Gogh or how they influenced his paintings with some words he said about their art.
This is a magazine cover by the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The story that accompanies this work tells how he and Van Gogh were once students at the same art studio in Paris; how Van Gogh had difficulties with the drawing lessons and would exhibit volatile behavior in class sometimes. While Lautrec got along better with Vincent’s brother, Theo, he was also one of the first to recognize and defend Van Gogh’s work and genius.
Both artists struggled with addictions and personal and physical problems with both lives ending in their mid 30’s.
Also on display are some nineteenth-century Japanese woodblock prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige; two other artists who influenced Van Gogh’s art.
Besides taking in the beauty and amazing talent of all of the paintings by Van Gogh and the others, also on display are early editions of the novels he read that influenced his artistic visions as well. I was particularly fond of seeing the copy of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol since it was the holiday season.
All of Vincent’s works are placed on blue walls to readily distinguish them from the other artists. Now is that actually why they are displayed this way? I don’t know, that’s just my take on the arrangement of the exhibit.
Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch, 1853-1890, Roses 1890, Oil on Canvas. This work of art was painted during his self-committed stay at a private asylum in Saint-Remy after suffering a mental breakdown.
Vincent Van Gogh, Wheat Field 1888, Oil on Canvas
Van Gogh, Undergrowth with Two Figures 1890, Oil on Canvas. This painting is one of his very last pieces and appears to reflect his growing pessimism and darkness of mood.
But look at the brush strokes in this piece; the effort that went into this painting. He truly was a talented albeit tortured soul.
You are allowed to take photos of the exhibit as long as you do not use flash. The exhibit will be at the Columbus Museum of Art until February 6, 2022 when it will move on to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art running from February 27 to May 22, 2022. Through Vincent’s Eyes showcases more than fifteen painting and drawings by the artist along with more than 100 works of art that stoked his imagination. While these works of art are not the ones you may most identify Vincent with (such as his famous Sunflowers and Starry Night) they are no less beautiful examples of his work.
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10AM -5PM. Thursday nights they are open from 10AM – 9PM. Admission to the museum is free for children 3 and under, for members, veterans and active military and their families and on Sundays. There is an additional fee to see the Van Gogh exhibit which is $10 for non-members. When your visit is complete with Van Gogh, you are free to explore the rest of the museum.
To read more about the Columbus Museum of art, this and the other exhibits, gift shop, parking, admission prices and current health/safety requirements (they encourage visitors to book tickets in advance but I was able to attend early on a Sunday without doing so and masks are required) check out their website here and here.