The Van Gogh Museum gave this as the reason for this low quality:
> We zijn ons ervan bewust dat sommige culturele instellingen de bestanden ook op hoge resolutie beschikbaar stellen. Wij hebben vooralsnog een andere keuze gemaakt, mede omdat bij gebruik van de beelden voor commerciële doeleinden wij er waarde aan hechten dat dit op een passende wijze plaatsvindt. Ik vertrouw op uw begrip hiervoor.
They want to prevent the works of Van Gogh from showing up on merchandise without their seal of approval (and income), basically. Meanwhile the neighbouring Rijksmuseum provides high resolution scans for download without such miserly reasoning, fulfilling their public duty in a much more pleasant way.
I attended after enjoying another classic Amsterdam experience, munching through a potent hash brownie. Despite giving myself the recommended enjoyment and recovery time, the effects really kicked in just as we entered the Van Gogh Museum.
It was brilliant!
My beautiful wife abandoned me, because my absorption in some of the works made her fear we’d be kicked out.
And pertinent to this thread, I maintain from that experience that Wheatfield with Crows (https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/collection/s0149V1962) is also an Impressionist self-portrait of sorts. Harder in digital form to spot the cloudy eyes, crow-black eyebrows, and wheaty-beard - but if you get to Amsterdam, or Paris where it’s about to go on tour, get yourself as close as possible and see if you see what I see!
But no matter what you make of it, or how you try to understand it, that painting is to me simply the best.
I had Van Gogh experience at the Musee D'Orsay. I walked into a room and ahead of me was the Church at Auvers and Dr. Gachet. The two of them together was just overwhelming. One would be stunning but there were two. OMG.
Note that you need a ticket to access the park, pay extra if you want to take your car in, and you need a separate ticket for the museum (the museum is inside the park). Park access is €12,50 per person, museum is another €12,50, and taking the car with you costs €8,70.
Big +1 to this recommendation.
I had a completely different Van Gogh experience at the Musee D'Orsay. I walked into a room and ahead of me was the Church at Auvers and Dr. Gache
I’m not good at “viewing art”, and often I struggle to understand why pieces are important. This museum is the first one that really filled in all the blanks for me. I was literally a changed person when I walked out of there.
Van Gogh is an interesting case. He was very familiar with the art world, even before he started drawing and painting. He worked as an art dealer and traveled a lot when he was young.
Where it gets interesting is when he sets out to become an artist himself. Over the course of only ten years he produced a staggering 900 paintings. (I typically spend a few months on only one drawing. And most of those don't even have color.)
It's not that I now like his work, but I sure have learned to appreciate the man and his mission. Looking at the progression in his work and reading his letters gives a wonderful insight in the mind of a very sensitive person.
Some others that I've gained appreciation for over time: Rembrandt (seeing the Night Watch in person, alone, was amazing), Vermeer (he was barely known until fairly recently), Suerat (didn't quite appreciate pontillism until I read more about color theory).
A particular piece that really blew my mind to see in person was Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights" at the Prado in Madrid. It left a lifelong impression (I've returned to see it several times). What I realized was, panning all over a high res digital version, you never get the sense of the whole or the theatrical scale of the thing. It's like watching a movie on your phone versus at an IMAX.
If I may give a recommendation :-) Another painting that left a lasting impression on me was "Virgin and Child with Canon van der Paele", located in Bruge, in Belgium. It doesn't have the weirdness of the Bosch painting, but it's just so incredibly detailed, and unlike the more famous Lamb of God, you can come to within 5cm of it.
Funny thing is this was the reality of his lived experience as well. He sold three (though there is some debate it was four) paintings in his life. The majority of them to his brother, and the rest by his brother.
He died a relative unknown leaving all of his paintings to his brother.
When his brother's wife read their correspondence she recognized what you did, and decided to publish them.
Upon publishing the letters Vincent's work became respected and in demand.
I lament the thousands of latent van goghs today that just didn’t get noticed in todays hyper competitive and hyper attention-focused society.
This got driven home when we visited the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
All the pictures are quite good. But if you put a bunch of different artists works together in a room, even as a rank amateur some of the paintings just immediately jump out at you. It's quite staggering just how much they jump out--and those are almost always done by one of the masters.
Another thing that people don't realize is that paintings have a third dimension--and that a lot of the masters used it. Again--the in-person experience mattrers.
And so it was that, as we wandered the relatively empty top floor, I walked through the entryway to the van Gogh exhibit room, looked left...and I just stopped, absolutely stunned as I looked upon Starry Night Over the Rhône. It completely took my breath away. I've never had that reaction (or much of any reaction) to a work of art before. My wife ended up wandering a different direction, and I had the pleasure of taking her back into the van Gogh room and watching her have the same reaction.
So, yeah...definitely nothing like looking at it on a screen or in a book.
True workaholic life’s work.
You’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t.
Prolificness is the underappreciated aspect of genius. Most talented artists can produce a few great works in their lifetime, with total dedication to the craft and endless toil. Geniuses are the ones who pump those out effortlessly, and once they get bored with that, the masterpieces start to come.
The Kröller-Müller collection was made before van Gogh has broken through. They got first pick on everything. Although the van Gogh has more works, the Kröller-Müller has the better ones. Besides the setting of the Kröller-Müller is much much nicer.
The evidence we have now strongly points to that Gauguin cut it off during an argument.
A lot of circumstantial evidence but it's pretty telling. Paul Gauguin was an expert swordsman who carried a particular sword with him at all times. He and Vincent would have terrible fights when they lived together in Arles. We know that Paul was scheduled to move away the next day and that night they had a big fight and that Paul left town immediately in a rush leaving his sword behind. The new evidence that was found recently is a doctor's rendering of the cut ear. It's an extremely clean cut from the top, straight down.
There's more to it but those are some interesting details.
From this we came up with: after an argument with Gauguin, he cut off his own ear and gave it to a prostitute he probably was in love with, which shows how crazy he was.
I mean, now we have the doctor's rendering and it's clearly a sword cut, but couldn't we have figured this out before? Really?
yeah it's funny to think how much of history is likely to be retold incorrectly
It juxtaposed his paintings with traditional Japanese woodcut prints from his personal collection (~500), or that he would have seen at contemporay Japonisme exhibitions.
The influence is clear, and in some cases very direct. Sometimes with subject matter, others with composition, or texture, or contrast of textures. The Japanese prints were as wonderful as the Van Gogh.
All together, an educational and sensory delight.
Theo being Van Gogh brother who would send him money and who corresponded with letters very frequently.
The Rodin museum in Paris had a couple of VanGoghs which I was instantly drawn to. They fly a little under the radar as they’re not sculptures.