Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam – The Ultimate Guide

Tragic death and crazily expensive pictures. Countless myths make Vincent Van Gogh the first rock star in art history. Here you can find out everything about the beautiful Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

The new wing of the Van Gogh Museum - Photo: © hollandfoto.net

The Van Gogh Museum is an architectural feast for the eyes located directly at the Museumplein. With many originals, you can relive Vincent's exciting life story - from the first painting exercises to the tragic end.

Opening hours: 3 September - 4 November 2018: 9 am to 6 pm, Fridays: 9 am to 9 pm; 5 November - 23 December 2018: 9 am to 5 pm, Fridays: 9 am to 9 pm.

Tip - Bypassing the line

The line in front of the Van Gogh Museum is almost always incredibly long. 2 hours waiting time is not uncommon. It is the least crowded between 9:00 and 11:00 in the morning and after 3 pm. In any case: buy tickets online and avoid the queue.

It is not only the marvelous, colorful original paintings that make the Van Gogh Museum so unique: Hardly any other artist is so well known. Letters, brushes and paint tubes - the wonderful collection offers a comprehensive view of the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. Read on and learn more:

Van Gogh – The first rock star in art history

He laid the foundation for modern painting but sold almost no paintings during his lifetime. Van Gogh was the epitome of the tragic hero. And then there was that thing with his ear...

Self-Portrait - Paris, 1887 - Photo: © Van-Gogh-Museum

Are his wonderful paintings products of his illness, and why did he commit suicide? Art historians and fans have been asking these questions for over 100 years. A visit to the museum and our 10 facts will help you get to know Vincent a little better:

  1. Incredibly expensive artworks - Back in the 1980s, a collector paid more than 40 million euros for a sunflower painting. You can admire a whole series of them at the Van Gogh Museum.
  2. Van Gogh only became famous after his death - He was often short on funds and had no money for models. That's why Vincent painted so many self-portraits.
  3. It was only at the age of 27 that Van Gogh began drawing - Before that, for example, he tried his hand as an art dealer and priest.
  4. Vincent was a college dropout - Van Gogh wanted to be a preacher - just like his father. After a short time, however, he discontinued his theological studies. Just like his art studies. Drawing by textbook wasn't his thing.
  5. Monet, Gaugin, Van Gogh - a top-class group of artists - Did you know that all these important painters knew each other? Van Gogh even lived with Gaugin for a while.
  6. Brotherly love - Theo and Vincent - The only reason why we know so much about Van Gogh's life today is that he wrote so many letters to his brother Theo. Theo moved Vincent to paint and supported Vincent all his life.
  7. The thing with the ear - Van Gogh had mental problems. One day he threatened his roommate Gaugin with a knife and then cut off a piece of his own ear.
  8. The genius in the institution - After the ear incident, Van Gogh was admitted to a psychiatric institution in Paris. In 1889 he created one of his most beautiful works there - "The Starry Night." Today, many people see the wacky brushstroke of the painting as an expression of his mental state.
  9. Tragic end by suicide - After his time in psychiatry, Van Gogh lived in an artists' village near Paris. He was very depressed. Van Gogh shot himself in the chest on 27 July 1890. He survived at first but died two days later.
  10. Forerunner for modern painting - Spontaneous brushstrokes and intense colors. Van Gogh painted things not as they really were, but as he felt them. This inspired countless painters after him, and a new style of art arose - "Expressionism."

Quite a wild life, isn't it? Perhaps it was precisely because of this turbulent background that Van Gogh painted such stunning pictures. There' s something to look at again in the next part: We're introducing you to our favorite works at the Van Gogh Museum.

Van-Gogh-Museum - The highlights of the collection

The museum manages a huge treasure of more than 200 paintings and 400 drawings. A scientific treatise could be written on each individual work. We do exactly the opposite.

Almond Blossom - Saint-Rémy, February 1890 - Photo: © Van-Gogh-Museum

Just beautiful pictures and a short description. Check out our favorite works - enjoy the powerful colors and wild brush strokes. Of course, we don't want to keep you from getting more information about a painting - this is best done at the Van Gogh Museum.

Almond Blossom

The first picture at the top shows one of Vincent's favorite motifs: lush almond blossoms in front of a blue sky. Van Gogh was inspired by Japanese artists for this painting.

Wheatfield under Thunderclouds

This impressive painting was painted by Van Gogh shortly before his death. Sadness and extreme loneliness - in his works Van Gogh tried to express what he could not say with words.

Wheatfield - Auvers, July 1890 - Photo: © Van-Gogh-Museum

Take a good look at that picture. Are you touched by the imposing force of nature? Do you understand how the painter felt? Hardly any artist could transfer emotions to the canvas as well as Vincent Van Gogh.

Skull

It's hard to believe this picture was painted in 1887. Who dared to paint like that? The artists of this time were actually concerned with anatomy and lifelike representation. Vincent Van Gogh didn't care.

Skull, Paris in May 1887 - Photo: © Van-Gogh-Museum

This is one of our favorite pictures because it shows how strong and stylish his art was. Look at pictures of Jean-Michel Basquiat. With a little imagination, the skull could be painted by him, just 80 years later. Van Gogh is rightly regarded as a pioneer of modern painting.

Tip - Hang a Van Gogh in your living room

The Van Gogh Museum has a shop where you can buy faithful copies of Van Gogh's masterpieces. The reproductions are a little more expensive, but they look great. You can buy the pictures in the online shop or directly at the museum.

Of course, the works are most effective in their original form. Perfectly illuminated and in all its colorful splendor. In the next part, you will find our map with the best route to the Van Gogh Museum.

How do I get to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam?

The Van Gogh Museum is located at the Museumplein. The name says it all. At the museum square, there are many museums, such as the Rijksmuseum or the Diamond Museum. The best way to get there is on foot, by bicycle or by tram.

The route to the Van Gogh Museum - Click to activate

By foot: From the main station it is quite a distance to the Van Gogh Museum. You walk about 40 minutes. The route, in the picture above, is gorgeous and leads you over the three main canals.

By bike: If the 3.5 km are too far for you to walk, rent a bike at one of the many bike rental stations in Amsterdam.

By tram: The Van Gogh Museum is only 20 minutes away by tram. From the central station, you can take the 2 and the 5. Get off at the stop "Van Baerlestraat." Here you can buy discounted tram tickets.

Exciting sights in the surrounding area

If you're here anyway and still have some time, check out the area around the Van Gogh Museum - it's full of exciting highlights: Rijksmuseum, Leidseplein, Vondelpark - more information under Sights in Amsterdam.

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