The main building of the museum has three levels. A choir was practicing while we were there, presumably for a performance later that evening. The sound of the harmonies wafted through the gallery as we looked at the precursors and influences on Van Gogh as well as the works of the master himself.
One of the finds of the evening was the exhibition of The Bedroom at Arles, the first of three versions Van Gogh painted, in restored form. Based on Vincent's letters to Theo describing the painting, the restorers brought out the colors more vibrantly. Here is a copy of the unrestored painting:
Other Van Gogh paintings that particularly caught my eye included examples of his experimentation with pointillism. I was particularly enamored of a series of paintings of wheatfields including the haunting Wheatfields with Crows which he painted months before his suicide:
I also liked the famous The Harvest and the Hill of Montmartre
|The Hill of Montmartre with Quarry|
In addition to van Gogh, the museum had one of Monet's Japanese Garden paintings, which is particularly of interest to me given that we stood on the same bridge at Giverny ten years ago with a friend who has since passed away. And there was Daubigny's Cliffs at Villerville-sur-mer as part of a special exhibition "Painting in the open air: myth and reality". Apparently Daubigny did not paint the Cliffs in the open air. Who would have thought?