Van Gogh’s Inner Circle. Friends, Family, Models

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The Van Gogh’s Inner Circle. Friends, Family, Models exhibition shines a light on Vincent’s personal relationships. Vincent van Gogh was passionate and outspoken. He maintained long and lasting relationships with some while alienating others.

  • Learn more about ‘Van Gogh’s Inner Circle’ through approximately 90 paintings, drawings, letters and documents.
  • Never has this subject been explored in such detail.
  • Observe the artist in The Hague and Brabant via Paris until his death in Auvers-sur-Oise.

The ‘Van Gogh’s Inner Circle’ exhibition in the Noordbrabants Museum challenges the popular image of Vincent as the lonely, tormented artist. Both as a man and as an artist, he appears to have been greatly appreciated by his friends and family.

Paintings, drawings, letters

Around 90 paintings, drawings, letters and documents provide a thorough introduction to this ‘inner circle’. Never has this subject been explored in such detail. There are works from Dutch collections, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Kröller-Müller Museum, supplemented by special pieces loaned from abroad. The exhibition also includes work and documents from private collections.

Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec and other artist friends

The most significant figures in Van Gogh's life appear in roughly chronological order, from his years spent in Brabant and The Hague, his time in Paris and in the South of France until his death on 29 July 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise. Vincent’s family and home life, his friendships with artists such as Anthon van Rappard, Anton Mauve, Emile Bernard, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Signac, but also his love affairs are exposed.

Particular attention for Theo van Gogh

Nobody knew Vincent better than his brother Theo, who described him as follows in a letter to their sister Willemien (Paris, 14 March 1887): ‘It is as if there are two people inside him, one is fantastically refined, tender and gentle and the other is a callous narcissist.’ Theo van Gogh receives special attention in the exhibition. Without a doubt, he was the most important person in Van Gogh's life. The friendship between the brothers and their shared love of art and literature is examined in the painting Portrait of Theo van Gogh from 1887, a book of poetry from Vincent to Theo from 1874-1875 and a book containing 42 prints, believed to belong to Theo van Gogh, all from the Van Gogh Museum. The book of poetry, in particular, paints a moving picture of brotherly love.

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