Now open at the NGV, Van Gogh and the Seasons explores Van Gogh’s profound connection to the seasons of nature through nearly 50 paintings and drawings, the largest exhibition of his work to ever grace Australian shores.
For Van Gogh the seasons represented the circle of life – birth, bloom, maturity and death. This ongoing cycle embodied the greatness of nature and in paintings such ‘Wheatfields,’ June 1888, Arles, you can see his enchantment with the vibrant colours the season produced.
At the moment we have a very glorious, powerful heat here with no wind, which suits me very well. Sunshine, a light which, for want of a better word I can only call yellow – pale sulphur yellow, pale lemon, gold. How beautiful yellow is!
Van Gogh repeatedly painted scenes that evoked the sensory pleasures or deprivations particular to each season – spring-time, with its blossoming orchards and flowering meadows; summer, with fields of ripe wheat shimmering under the hot sun; autumn, with bountiful harvests and solitary figures sowing seeds as dusk approaches; and winter, with peasants digging potatoes out of frozen fields, or sharing a meagre meal by candlelight.
Amazingly he only painted for 10 years before his death at 37 in 1890, and out of a catalogue of 800 paintings and drawings we have 50 on display here in Melbourne.
In a poignant moment one of his final paintings, completed just six months before he took his own life is on display as part of the exhibition, giving a very real sense to his career from it’s beginings as a drawer, through to his masterpieces like Irises, known the world over today.
Do see this exhibition if you get a chance, it’s rich with history and vignettes about this mans fascinating life and you will leave feeling uplifted and grateful that he once upon a time, decided upon a career in art.
Van Gogh and the Seasons is on display at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia from 28 April – 9 July 2017 as part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series.
Tickets on sale now from NGV.MELBOURNE. Adult $28 / Concession $24.50 / Child $10 / Family (2 adults, 3 children) $65