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Get to Know Van Gogh in Amsterdam

May 31, 2013 - 5:33pm
Get to Know Van Gogh in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is Holland's most prominent city, and with so much to see and do, it's not hard for senior travel groups to see why. From landmarks and historic sites to museums and art galleries, the metropolis is a bustling hub of culture, and the Van Gogh Museum is one of the top highlights. Here, visitors will find the largest permanent collection of the Dutch painter's works in the world, including many noteworthy pieces as well as lesser known drawings, paintings and written pieces.

Who Was Van Gogh?
Vincent van Gogh was born in the mid-1800s, worked as an apprentice to an art dealer, taught children and eventually began taking painting lessons in 1881, the museum's website reports. The first person to ever commission Van Gogh was his uncle, Cornelius Van Gogh, who requested 12 pen and ink drawings of the Hague, a province in South Holland. From there, Van Gogh began to produce paintings, drawings and other works. Over the next nine years, the struggling artist found little success in his line of work. He was also dealing with many emotional issues that inevitably drove him to an early grave. Van Gogh took his own life in 1890, but his spirit would live on in his artwork, which grew to influence the art world in a way he likely never imagined.

What Works Are on Display in Amsterdam?
The collection of art and other important artifacts from Van Gogh's life on display in the museum is practically too much. There are more than 500 drawings, 22 canvases and 750 written pieces, according to Holland.com. This includes prominent pieces such as Van Gogh's self-portraits and two important pieces: The Sunflowers and The Bedroom in Arles. In addition to viewing these works, IAmsterdam.com indicates visitors can compare Van Gogh's paintings and drawings to those of his contemporaries during their escorted vacation. Seeing the disparities between his work and the popular style of the day makes it easy to understand why he was not celebrated until long after his death, but it also clarifies just how important his work was in the evolution of the art world.

The museum also hosts events and workshops, including a soiree every Friday night that features live musicians, DJs and other performers. Travelers heading to Amsterdam on affordable travel tours might want to visit the museum website before their trip to see if anything special will be going on while they're in town. Whether they get to enjoy a fun event or simply tour the museum during an afternoon in Holland, travelers will likely not soon forget their trip to the Van Gogh Museum.