Back to see Van Gogh

The other day I made another trip to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the Winter Masterpiece exhibition, Van Gogh and the Seasons. The first time I went it was so crowded you couldn’t see it, let alone enjoy it. I’m happy to say the advice I was given about going on a weekday and early proved to be true. While there were still many people, it wasn’t so crowded and it was much better to see. We did have to wait at some paintings to see them, but it wasn’t long, and was expected really, as with any exhibition.

When you start going through the exhibition you walk into a large room with a short film about Van Gogh.

It talked a bit about his life and one thing that I found fascinating was how he started off working with dark colours, or rather his paintings were dark. I can’t remember who, but one or more people told him he should paint in brighter colours, which he did eventually. It reminds me of my journey and how I get told a lot my work is too dark and that I should make it lighter. I wonder if one day I will do that.

It was interesting walking through the exhibition seeing how the work changes. Most of the paintings that he is really famous for weren’t there. It is one of the problems I find with these exhibitions here, we don’t get to see the really good ones. I guess Australia is too far to send them, or maybe the insurance on them would make it too expensive. I don’t know, but it is disappointing at times.

Photography was allowed, and I considered taking my DSLR, but in the end I just wanted to enjoy the exhibition so I used my phone to take photos.

I took photos of the paintings that I liked and others that my daughter enjoyed. I am going to put them in a gallery for you now. It isn’t all the painting, but quite a few.


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  1. thank you for sharing Leanne. I enjoy his work, the textures especially of course. But also, I am really drawn to his monochromatic work. hoping to see this come to Perth 🙂

    1. You’re welcome Debi, I enjoyed the exhibition and it has been good to share the images with it. His drawings were wonderful, I really liked them as well. Is it coming to Perth?

    2. 🙂 I haven’t had a chance to even check yet! daughter’s surgery was 14 days ago and we’re trying to help out as needed. its been ‘busy’ lol

    3. just read the blurb on it, sounds like its only Melbourne. gorgeous new paintings I hadn’t seen before, very lovely.

    4. I’ve just seen the book, a student brought it to class last week, for me to (drool) over. I mean look at. she wasn’t rubbing it in or anything! LOL but WOW, it changed my mind about Vincent. Before, I didn’t care for his work. But, I saw quite a few I fell in love with in the book. Melbourne, was the fortunate one 🙂

    5. The book has a lot more in it, it is pretty good. Haha, I’m sure she wasn’t. YOu might have to try and work out a way to get over here for the next one. They are having a Jim Dine exhibition, I’m really looking forward to that one as well.

  2. Hello from Los Angeles!
    New subscriber here….Fuji XT2 newbie…
    Absolutely love your photos — not too dark whatsoever…
    Much story in your images 🙂

  3. Van Gogh is a favorite of ours as well. The last painting, the self portrait, is one my daughter painted inside her closet door in high school. Now she’s an MFA teaching and creating art.

    Thank you so much for showing your wonderful visit to see Van Gogh.

    1. Sounds like your daughter was heavily influenced by him Jackie, it is nice to hear stories like this.
      You’re welcome, good to hear other peoples reactions.

  4. Interesting post, Leanne. Especially the question of whether one should follow their own sense of style or adjust based on the suggestions of others. Since art is, in essence, a form of commucation it involves two people, the sender of the message (artist) and the recipeint (viewer). Listening to the reactions of the viewers is fine, but exposing the viewer to a new (different) way of seeing something is also important. I think this question has become more significant in this time of social media when computer algorithms are designed to find things for us based on what we like and know already.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Robin, I agree, though I have to say that I am trying very hard to stick with my aesthetic and do what I want with my images. Though I have to say, that for the first time in a very long time I have a very clear idea of what I want my work to be about. I just hope that people get it and understand where I am coming from. Thank you so much Robin, this could be a very good discussion point.

  5. Leanne, thank you SO MUCH for sharing these photos. Van Gogh is a favorite of mine so I’m thrilled to see these less “famous” works. It’s clear to see how he was working his way into what became his signature look.

    After raising 12 children, my mother took up painting at age 65. To augment her limited formal study, on her own, she painted van Gogh works as well as Matisse’s. She said she wanted to “get inside the heads” of the masters. As a result, I have, hanging in my home, “van Gogh” paintings! I love his work so I bought paintings from my mother to help her fund her painting supplies! I love having paintings by my mother that show his brilliance. Again, thank you for sharing this amazing study of his work.

    1. You are so welcome Mary and thank you so much for sharing your story, I really enjoyed reading about it.What a lovely thing to do for your mothers. Wonderful.

  6. Thanks Leanne. Going off to check exhibition dates now in case it will still be up when I’m there in late July…

  7. Nice. Also nice that they allowed photos. So many places here in the States don’t allow any type of photography.

  8. I’m heading in there tomorrow early, with my 8 year old grandson who is passionate about Vincent. Hope it’s not too crowded at opening time.

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