The 12 Most Famous Artworks at The Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is home to an exceptional collection of art by the renowned Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. With over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 700 letters, the museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the life and work of one of the most influential figures in Western art. In this article, we will take a closer look at the 12 most famous artworks at the Van Gogh Museum, showcasing their dimensions, location, creation dates, genres, mediums, and periods.

1. The Potato Eaters (De Aardappeleters)

Dimensions: 82.0 cm × 114.0 cm (32.3 in × 44.9 in)
Location: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Created: 1885
Genre: Genre Painting
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

“The Potato Eaters” is one of Van Gogh’s earliest and most iconic works. Painted in 1885, this powerful masterpiece depicts a group of simple farmers sharing a modest meal of potatoes. The painting reflects Van Gogh’s deep compassion for the working class and his desire to portray their struggles and hardships. Showcasing his mastery of dark, earthy tones, the artwork exudes a sense of introspection and solidarity.

2. Sunflowers (Zonnebloemen)

Dimensions: 92.1 cm × 73 cm (36.3 in × 28.7 in)
Location: National Gallery, London
Created: 1888
Genre: Still Life
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

“Sunflowers” is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable and beloved artworks by Van Gogh. This vibrant still life composition, created during his time in Arles, captures the beauty and essence of the sunflower. Van Gogh’s bold and expressive brushstrokes, combined with his masterful use of color, create a sense of luminosity and vitality. The painting has become an emblematic representation of van Gogh’s unique artistic vision and his ability to infuse ordinary subjects with extraordinary passion.

3. The Bedroom (Het Slaapkamertje)

Dimensions: 73.6 cm × 91.3 cm (28.9 in × 35.9 in)
Location: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Created: 1888
Genre: Interior
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

“The Bedroom” provides a glimpse into van Gogh’s personal life and his emotional connection to his living space. This iconic painting depicts the artist’s bedroom in the Yellow House in Arles, where he lived for a period. The work showcases van Gogh’s unique style, with its thick, visible brushstrokes and vibrant palette. The deliberate distortion of perspective adds an element of introspection and reflects the artist’s state of mind at the time.

4. The Starry Night (De sterrennacht)

Dimensions: 73.7 cm × 92.1 cm (29 in × 36.3 in)
Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Created: 1889
Genre: Landscape
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

“The Starry Night” is perhaps one of Van Gogh’s most famous and celebrated works. Painted during his time in an asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, this breathtaking landscape depicts the view from his window at night. The swirling, expressive brushstrokes and vibrant, otherworldly colors create a sense of movement and emotion. The painting’s enduring popularity has made it an iconic representation of Van Gogh’s artistic genius and his ability to transcend reality in favor of emotional expression.

5. Irises (Irissen)

Dimensions: 71 cm × 93 cm (28 in × 37 in)
Location: J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Created: 1889
Genre: Still Life
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

“Irises” showcases Van Gogh’s fascination with flowers and his ability to capture their essence on canvas. This exquisite still life composition features a vibrant bouquet of irises against a colorful background. Van Gogh’s use of bold, contrasting colors and his energetic brushwork give the painting a sense of dynamism and vitality. The work reflects Van Gogh’s desire to find solace and beauty in nature during a difficult period of his life.

6. The Yellow House (The Street) (Het gele huis)

Dimensions: 72.4 cm × 91.4 cm (28.5 in × 36 in)
Location: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Created: 1888
Genre: Cityscape
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

“The Yellow House” offers a glimpse into Van Gogh’s time spent in Arles, where he rented the house depicted in the painting. This vibrant cityscape showcases the artist’s unique color palette and bold compositions. Van Gogh aimed to create a sense of harmony and energy by incorporating complementary colors and dynamic lines. The painting captures the artist’s intense enthusiasm for his surroundings, offering a glimpse of his personal connection to the places he inhabited.

7. Wheatfield with Crows (Tarweveld met kraaien)

Dimensions: 50.4 cm × 103 cm (19.8 in × 40.6 in)
Location: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Created: 1890
Genre: Landscape
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

“Wheatfield with Crows” is an iconic and haunting landscape painting from the final year of Van Gogh’s life. This captivating artwork depicts a golden wheatfield under a dramatic and turbulent sky, with a flock of crows flying overhead. The powerful symbolism and dramatic use of color and brushwork suggest a sense of despair and isolation. While the painting is often associated with Van Gogh’s troubled state of mind, it also reflects his deep connection to nature and his ability to convey complex emotions through art.

8. Blossoming Almond Tree (Amandelbloesem)

Dimensions: 73.3 cm × 92.4 cm (28.9 in × 36.4 in)
Location: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Created: 1890
Genre: Still Life
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

The “Blossoming Almond Tree” holds a special place within Van Gogh’s oeuvre, as it was created to celebrate the birth of his nephew and namesake, Vincent Willem. This striking still life features beautifully blossoming almond branches against a clear blue sky. Van Gogh’s delicate brushwork and careful attention to detail create a serene atmosphere, evoking a sense of hope and renewal. The painting serves as a testament to the artist’s ability to find joy and beauty in the simplest of subjects.

9. Self-Portrait (Zelfportret)

Dimensions: 65.5 cm × 50.5 cm (25.8 in × 19.9 in)
Location: Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Created: 1889
Genre: Self-Portrait
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

Van Gogh created numerous self-portraits throughout his career, each offering a glimpse into his evolving artistic style and state of mind. This particular self-portrait, created in 1889, showcases Van Gogh’s use of bold colors and dramatic brushwork. The artist’s penetrating gaze and intense expression seem to provide a window into his passionate and tormented soul. The painting stands as a testament to Van Gogh’s lifelong introspection and his unwavering commitment to his artistic vision.

10. The Sower (De zaaier)

Dimensions: 81 cm × 100 cm (32 in × 39 in)
Location: Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo
Created: 1888
Genre: Landscape
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

“The Sower” exemplifies Van Gogh’s fascination with the cultivation of the land and the seasons of life. This symbolic and energetic painting depicts a sower sowing seeds in a vast landscape. Van Gogh’s use of vibrant colors and expressive brushwork infuses the scene with a sense of movement and vitality. The painting embodies the artist’s belief in the cycle of growth, hope, and renewal, despite the challenges of life.

11. Café Terrace at Night (Terras bij Nacht)

Dimensions: 81 cm × 65.5 cm (32 in × 25.8 in)
Location: Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo
Created: 1888
Genre: Cityscape
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

“Café Terrace at Night” captures the atmosphere of a vibrant night scene in Arles. The painting showcases Van Gogh’s adeptness at using complementary colors to create harmony and convey a sense of mood and ambience. With its warm, glowing tones and carefully constructed composition, the artwork invites the viewer to join the bustling energy of the outdoor café. Van Gogh’s ability to capture the essence of everyday moments and transform them into timeless scenes is truly remarkable.

12. The Olive Trees (De olijfbomen)

Dimensions: 72.7 cm × 91.4 cm (28.6 in × 36 in)
Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Created: 1889
Genre: Landscape
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

“The Olive Trees” captures Van Gogh’s fascination with the natural world and his ability to convey a sense of tranquility and spirituality through his art. This mesmerizing landscape showcases a rich tapestry of olive trees, rendered in Van Gogh’s signature expressive style. The intricate brushwork, vibrant colors, and dynamic composition create a sense of movement and flow, making the viewer feel immersed in the beauty of nature.

Visiting the Van Gogh Museum offers a unique opportunity to explore these iconic artworks and experience the incredible talent and artistic vision of Vincent van Gogh. The museum’s impressive collection serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of this legendary artist and his remarkable contributions to the art world.

Sources:
– Van Gogh Museum: https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/
– The National Gallery: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/
– Museum of Modern Art: https://www.moma.org/
– J. Paul Getty Museum: http://www.getty.edu/museum/