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Vincent van Gogh: Still Life with a Plate of Onions, 1889, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo
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Van Gogh: Still Lifes

October 26, 2019 until February 2, 2020

“Painting still lifes is the beginning of everything,” Van Gogh remarked in the winter of 1884/85. The exhibition Van Gogh: Still Lifes examines the experimental, ground-breaking character that Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) attributed to his still lifes. Now, for the first time, tribute is paid to the significance of this genre in his œuvre. In still life the artist attained singularity: this was the right medium for his struggle with the expressive power of colour. His persistent experimentation with the genre reflects his artistic development. Here, he pre-empted modernism, but without forsaking the important role that still life had played in Dutch painting ever since the 17th century. The result is an emblematic, existential art that continues to radiate energy today.

During the single decade he was active as a painter from 1881 until his death in 1890, Van Gogh executed over 170 still lifes. As a genre, still life was a rewarding gateway into painting as it offered him a framework to experiment with painterly techniques and options. The paintings reflect his reponse to impressionism, which Van Gogh witnessed first-hand in Paris between 1886 and 1888, but also the influence of colour woodcuts from Japan. The still lifes describe his journey towards an ever freer, more intensive use of paint.

The exhibition Van Gogh: Still Lifes has been organized by Dr Michael Philipp, Chief Curator at the Museum Barberini. Overall, it presents 27 of these paintings in a representative selection, illustrating the painter’s artistic evolution. It traces the œuvre from the studies in sombre, earthy tones painted during Van Gogh’s early period between 1881 and 1885 to the still lifes with brightly coloured fruit and flowers that he produced during his last years in Arles, Saint-Rémy, and Auvers.

In collaboration with the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Under the patronage of H. E. Wepke Kingma, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Germany.

"Emphasises the enormous strides that the artist made during his tragically short career" (ART NEWSPAPER)

Barberini Prolog

The Barberini Prolog showcases the current exhibition. This mini-site summarizes narrative threads, themes and works and is perfect for preparing a visit or recommending the exhibition to a friend.

Prolog

The Barberini Prolog showcases the current exhibition. This mini-site summarizes narrative threads, themes and works and is perfect for preparing a visit or recommending the exhibition to a friend.

Prolog

Experts on the Exhibition
Events accompanying the Exhibition

Accompanying the exhibition Van Gogh: Still Life, a selected programme of events will take place in the Barberini Museum. The actor Ulrich Matthes, for example, reads from Vincent van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo and the curator of the exhibition, Dr. Michael Philipp, speaks with the journalist Stefan Koldehoff about the infamous scandal of fake Van Gogh works in the 1930s. The Filmmuseum Potsdam is also showing a curated selection from the extensive film oeuvre on Van Gogh's life.

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Willem Dafoe (Vincent Van Gogh) in VAN GOGH © DCM

Willem Dafoe (Vincent Van Gogh) in VAN GOGH © DCM

Accompanying the exhibition Van Gogh: Still Life, a selected programme of events will take place in the Barberini Museum. The actor Ulrich Matthes, for example, reads from Vincent van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo and the curator of the exhibition, Dr. Michael Philipp, speaks with the journalist Stefan Koldehoff about the infamous scandal of fake Van Gogh works in the 1930s. The Filmmuseum Potsdam is also showing a curated selection from the extensive film oeuvre on Van Gogh's life.

Willem Dafoe (Vincent Van Gogh) in VAN GOGH © DCM

Willem Dafoe (Vincent Van Gogh) in VAN GOGH © DCM

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Exhibition Catalog

Published in English end German, edited by Ortrud Westheider and Michael Philipp

With contributions by
Sjraar van Heugten, art historian and independent curator, Utrecht
Valerie Hortolani, Curator, Museum Barberini, Potsdam
Stefan Koldehoff, cultural journalist, art critic, and writer, Cologne
Michael Philipp, Chief Curator, Museum Barberini, Potsdam
Eliza Rathbone, Chief Curator Emerita, The Phillips Collection, Washington DC.
Oliver Tostmann, Curator, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, USA
Marije Vellekoop, Curator, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Michael F. Zimmermann, Professor, Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

Hardcover with dust jacket, 264 pages, 24,0 x 30,0 cm, 270 color illustrations, Prestel Verlag, Munich 2019, Museum edition € 29,95; Trade edition € 39,00 ISBN: 978-3-7913-5872-7

To the Publisher's Site

© Museum Barberini / Prestel

© Museum Barberini / Prestel

Published in English end German, edited by Ortrud Westheider and Michael Philipp

With contributions by
Sjraar van Heugten, art historian and independent curator, Utrecht
Valerie Hortolani, Curator, Museum Barberini, Potsdam
Stefan Koldehoff, cultural journalist, art critic, and writer, Cologne
Michael Philipp, Chief Curator, Museum Barberini, Potsdam
Eliza Rathbone, Chief Curator Emerita, The Phillips Collection, Washington DC.
Oliver Tostmann, Curator, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, USA
Marije Vellekoop, Curator, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Michael F. Zimmermann, Professor, Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

Hardcover with dust jacket, 264 pages, 24,0 x 30,0 cm, 270 color illustrations, Prestel Verlag, Munich 2019, Museum edition € 29,95; Trade edition € 39,00 ISBN: 978-3-7913-5872-7

© Museum Barberini / Prestel

© Museum Barberini / Prestel

To the Publisher's Site

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