Van Gogh Museum: Unveiling the genius

If you’re visiting Amsterdam, don’t miss the chance to reserve a whole day to leisurely appreciate the Van Gogh Museum. With 200 paintings, 500 drawings and almost 700 letters, the museum will undoubtedly immerse you into the universe of Vincent van Gogh, the famous dutch artist whose legacy still resonates across the world.

Sitting neatly amongst the wealth of art and cultural displays in the ‘Museum Square’ area of Amsterdam, this museum is arguably an art lovers’ dream.  entering the remarkable modern light-infused building, a design inspired by Gerrit Rietveld, you will surely be struck by how amazing the interior design looks. In 2015, a new entrance hall made of glass and a temporary exhibition wing were actually created by Japanese Kisho Kurokawa.

What is precious about this museum is that it does not only house works by Vincent Van Gogh but by his contemporaries and influences and allows visitors to gain an incredibly insightful perspective into the life and work of the man himself.  What I appreciated during my visit is that I got to see the majority of Van Gogh’s paintings displayed in chronological order which is a great opportunity to see the development of his art. 

As we are often ill-informed about the life of Van Gigh, the site offers a variety of self-portraits which are the thread running through this exhibition. These artworks genuinely give a deep insight of Van Gogh’s mental issues that he dealt with. the museum encourages us as visitors to not only appreciate the beauty of his unique post-impressionist style but also explore and learn about the disturbed and difficult life of the painter through a series entitled ‘Vincent’s Life, 1853-1890’. So we are given  insight on how quickly he changed throughout a simple timeline that depicts the progression of Van Gogh as more than a painter. This is definitely a great way to feel the experience of looking into Van Gogh’s life in all dimensions.

A palette and paint tubes that belonged to Van Gogh. Photo: CeliaxH

Of course, Vincent Van Gogh is not the only artist presented. The museum follows his life by taking care to propose other works such as those of Picasso, Redon, Gauguin, Manet, Pissarro.

Self-Portrait with Cupid and Death-Hans Thoma. Photo: CeliaxH

Breaking the Museum

In the first room on the first floor, the site displays Van Gogh’s first painting which are pretty famous. The visitors can find  the first five years of his career, while he was living in the Netherlands. Among The Potato Eaters’  his first masterpiece, there are also his self-portraits that portrays his powerful gaze.

Photo: culturaltourist

On the second floor, the visitors can find a bunch of letters that Van Gogh wrote to his correspondents, especially artists and friedns, celebrating his poetic side. You can read or listen to them And they are absolutely something you shouldn’t miss while at the Van Gogh Museum. 

Photo: culturetourist

The third floor at the Museum houses Van Gogh’s paintings that express his mental illness. Through the different symbolism, some of which are beautiful and disturbing of his paintings, the visitors undoubtedly feel involved and simply learn about the harsh life of Van Gogh. 

A Gift Shop: Shopping time wihtout the museum entrance ticket !

Van Gogh Museum Gift Shop, Amsterdam. Photo:

Aside from Exhibition catalogues, on offer in the 1,500-title-strong third-floor bookshop, there is even a gift shop on the first floor in which we can find anything from sticky stroopwafels in Van Gogh-inspired tins to hilarious knitted toys of the artist, and luxury limited-edition collabs with international designers. 

Having visited the museum during the Covid pandemic one year ago, it’s interesting to see that the site managed to keep the pace flowing and had no problems regarding the covid security measures. Now, the site offers an online version of the gallery to reminisce or discover some of Van Gogh’s brilliant and ever-so-famous paintings.

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