Fancy a pit stop? The stylish museum café Le Tambourin is an excellent place for lunch, offering a great view of Museumplein and the Kurokawa Wing.
Close to the Rijskmuseum, Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum holds the world’s largest collection of drawings and paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and is the second most visited museum in the Netherlands.
The museum is housed in two buildings: the Rietveld Building holds the permanent collection, and the Kurokawa Wing - accessed via a subterranean tunnel from the Rietveld - displays major temporary exhibitions. Be prepared for minor security checks on your way in: in 1991 twenty paintings were stolen from the museum (although thankfully they were recovered just 35 minutes later from an abandoned car, several having suffered severe damage). Four men, including two museum guards, were convicted of the theft.
Van Gogh was prolific, producing in his lifetime more than 2,100 artworks including 860 oil paintings and over 1,300 watercolours, drawings, sketches and prints. The museum has 200 paintings, 400 drawings and also 700 of Van Gogh’s personal letters, forming a comprehensive picture of his life and work. He is particularly famed for his intense and powerful self-portraits, nine of which are on view here, alongside such iconic works as Sunflowers, The Potato Eaters and Almond Blossoms.
All the phases of Van Gogh’s artistic practice are covered in well-laid out and informative displays, with works from his time in Nuenen, Antwerp, Paris, Arles, Saint-Rémy and Auvers-sur-Oise. Also exhibited are important works by some of his Post-Impressionist contemporaries, including Gauguin, Manet, Monet, Seurat, Signac and Toulouse-Lautrec. The Van Gogh Museum is an electrifying display of the work of one of the twentieth century’s most important artists.
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