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Into the lab

Autumn is here and nature is changing her coat. An invitation to go outside and savour the fresh fragrances of a new season. Vincent van Gogh, too, was inspired by life outdoors at this time of year. In 1882 he painted Girl in the woods in situ, as the leaves we have found embedded in the paint prove. That is just one of the remarkable discoveries to emerge from Van Gogh’s studio practice, a joint research project by the Van Gogh Museum, Shell and the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency. This is the final blog posting about the project, but in 2013 it is due to reach a spectacular climax in the form of a major exhibition.

Glistening “diamonds” in The sower, grains of sand in The sea at Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a new shade of blue that refused to catch on, recycled canvases and an insight into the artist’s social networks… With their broad sweep, our investigations have brought us a little closer to understanding what drove Van Gogh and how he worked. For example, contrary to what many people think, it seems that he did not work in complete isolation. And he employed quite standard techniques to master his craft. Our research has also answered questions about the materials he used, the shops where he bought his supplies, his workplaces – both indoors and out – the other artists he was friends with and the theories he was aware of. The result is a valuable all-round picture of Vincent van Gogh the artist, and one peppered with surprising new insights.

The research phase of the project is now at an end. Over the next few months we will be bringing together all our findings and tying up the loose ends. Behind the scenes we are already compiling new publications and working hard on preparations for the 2013 exhibition. As well as works by Van Gogh from the museum’s own collection, this will include many items loaned for the occasion. For visitors it will be like stepping inside a laboratory equipped for all the latest state-of-the-art research techniques, which they can actually observe and experience. Who knows what might still be discovered there…

Follow the latest news about Van Gogh’s studio practice on the Van Gogh Museum website or subscribe to our e-newsletter


17 Responses to “Into the lab”

  1. Emiliano says:

    Vincent Van Gogh is a good drawer and a good painter.

  2. NORLY RALPH says:


  3. Melanie and friends says:

    Buen museo, obras interesantes! Un pintor con exito!

  4. Dear guests of the museum. Don’t pay attention to the japanese pictures. The museum gets great if so visit it a little high. That’s all folks.

    Cris and Husband

    • peaceman says:

      sehr schoene bilder dieses museum ist nur weiterzuempfehlen
      die bilder sind wirklich schoen und mit der audiotour kann man
      noch viel dazu lernen.
      Wirklich sehr sehr schoen!
      man muss einfach einmal da gewesen sein!

  5. Matt Taylor says:

    amazing place. The sunflower picture is definently my favourite piece of art. Avoid the Japanese art and put more attention into Van Goughs art :)

    • léanne says:

      ik vind het een heel mooi museum.
      en ook een heel bizonder museum.
      en de schilderijen ziin ook heel bizonder.
      en ook heel mooi en knap.
      en ik vind het ook heel cool dat je op de i pad kunt zien wat onder het schilderij gemaakt is en ook dat je de tekening kunt zien hoe het in elkaar zit.

  6. Jose says:

    the museum is very interesting and i enjoy all of it, but its a little dificult and confuse the entrance maybe more signals and information may help, tthank you and still work i would come in 2013 and see more pictures!

  7. tibo says:

    i`m french and i saw in a newspapper an article about the first autoportrait of van G. the most famous. it tell the it`s not vincent, but his brother Theo, what`s the good answer ?

  8. Anouk et Emma FRANCE says:

    we love japanese paintings and all the collection.
    Beaucoup de monde malheureusement … Good luck .

  9. blanche says:

    trop de monde mais le parcour enfant est super pour gauthier

  10. Tom and Frankie says:

    Not a fan of the Japanese inspired work but we really enjoyed the Sunflowers and the still lifes. And the interactive restoration elements. We look forward to coming back.

  11. Gladys Hendriksz says:

    Beautiful Museum. Very well organize and the order of the life of Vincent’s life is impressive.
    i love his paintings. Fantastic!!
    Arriving to the building was a bit confusing.

  12. Danny and Gemma says:

    Potato Eaters is by far our favorite, alongside the Courting Couples. Such Contrast! ensure more time is spent looking at van goughes artwork, i feel the japanese pictures are like a free magazine inside a newspaper, nice however not what you initially needed to see.

  13. Rory Horseman says:

    A fantastic insight into the life of an incredible painter. Have learnt a lot more than i ever could have imagined. Such a shame that the artist died at such a young age.

  14. Leonor Bitton says:

    Bonjour ,
    Ce musee est super bien , les toiles super belles , la presentations modernes mais je triouve sa ininteressant les dernier etage car ce musee c est un musee van gog et pas dotre chose
    si mon appressiation est tres bien , \
    Je kiff
    Leonor bitton

  15. Silvia Santini says:

    I ask myself..How did he think the paint was finished? if I were in his shoes i think I couldn’t have the courage to put it an end. In my opinion to finish a paint is more difficult than to start it.