Highlights and Visitor Tips for Van Gogh Museum - Ahulan

Highlights and Visitor Tips for Van Gogh Museum


Van Gogh Museum Highlights & Tips for Visiting was originally published on Culture Tourist on 3 July 2020 and updated on 29 March 2024

The Van Gogh Museum, one of Europe’s greatest, is frequently Amsterdam’s lone draw. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam receives around two million visitors annually, so plan beforehand. Read on for Van Gogh Museum highlights and ideas for visiting this amazing museum.

Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum


You’re at the correct spot for Van Gogh Museum highlights and pre-visit information. This amazing museum houses van Gogh’s most renowned works. You may also read about his life, family, and personality there.

I gave Van Gogh Museum tours for three years, so I knew it well. Read on for my top Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam suggestions.


Van Gogh Museum History
The Van Gogh Museum opened 1973. Famous Dutch architect, furniture designer, and De Stijl member Gerrit Rietveld created it. Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa subsequently added the new entrance and temporary display wing.

This museum features the world’s largest Van Gogh collection. Interestingly, the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands has Van Gogh’s second-largest collection. The greatest enthusiasts of his art should visit both institutions.

After Vincent van Gogh died in 1890, his younger brother and close friend Theo received his paintings. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, Theo’s wife, cared for the artwork after his death six months later.

She organized shows, wrote about him in art publications, and sold his paintings. In the 1920s, she recognized the value of his collection and ceased selling his works. The Van Gogh Museum displays 200 paintings and 1,000 sketches from the family collection.

Their debut exhibition was in the nearby Stedelijk Museum. After the new museum opened in 1973, they relocated to Amsterdam’s Museumplein.

-Van Gogh’s Art
One of the most renowned and adored contemporary artists, Van Gogh had a brief career. His painting career began at 27 and ended 10 years later.

However, he produced almost 2,000 paintings and sketches between 1880 and 1890. Unfortunately, he sold one picture throughout his lifetime.

Vincent van Gogh resided in three countries throughout his ten-year painting career, and his style varied. His somber early paintings, made in the Netherlands, depict peasants and their hard lives. Van Gogh discovered new art in Paris and experimented with Impressionism and Pointillism.

He created his signature style in Arles, southern France, around 1888. However, his mental sickness began here. It will be evident in his last two years of painting.

-Van Gogh Museum Highlights
One of my favorite museums is the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, where you can learn about this intriguing artist. His works are chronologically presented and most are there. You can notice his art’s progress and how swiftly he transformed during those 10 years.

-Ground level of Van Gogh Museum
Note that the Van Gogh Museum is rebuilding certain galleries. Therefore, some artworks may not be in their customary rooms. However, they are shown as usual. This Van Gogh Museum highlights guide may be used again.

-Self-portraits by Van Gogh
We only have one picture of Vincent van Gogh, but his self-portraits show him well. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam displays several of Vincent’s 35 self-portraits on the main level. Because they were practice for him, most remain unfinished. Not selling any of them was his goal.

➷ TIP: View the back of self-portraits in the Van Gogh Museum’s glass windows. Vincent constantly had money issues, therefore he recreated his paintings and produced new ones on their backgrounds. And it shows that he solely painted self-portraits for practice, not to sell.

-Reproduction of sunflowers
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam’s sunflower replica
Why visit the duplicate when the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has an original ‘Sunflowers’? Because this replication is extraordinary. Only this artwork may be touched and smelled in the museum.

Vincent utilized thick paint, as shown in the ‘Sunflowers’. His work may be experienced in many ways with this copy, which was made for the visually impaired.

First level of Van Gogh Museum

‘The Potato Eaters’ is a Van Gogh Museum highlight. The first room on this level contains Van Gogh’s first five years of work. He produced them in the Netherlands. His first masterwork, ‘The Potato Eaters’, depicted the peasants’ terrible existence with brightness and heart.

-Bedroom in Arles

After moving to the south of France, Van Gogh established his own distinct style. His work ‘Bedroom in Arles’ shows his color explorations of the period. This artwork influenced generations of expressionist artists with its contrasts and sharp edges.

Multiple variations of a painting were common for Van Gogh. Because of it, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the Art Institute of Chicago have two separate copies of this picture. We have three versions of ‘The Potato Eaters’ and many of his other works.

In August 1888, Van Gogh wrote to his friend Emile Bernard about his ‘Sunflowers’.

Half a dozen sunflower paintings may decorate my workspace. Harsh or broken yellows will pop against blue backgrounds from mild Veronese to royal blue, framed with tiny orange lead laths. Gothic church stained-glass effects. Oh, my wild friends, let’s enjoy our sight.
Vincent van Gogh painted seven versions of this renowned work. One is a Van Gogh Museum highlight. It was his professional pinnacle, bright and joyous, painted nearly entirely in yellow. In this picture, Vincent beautifully symbolized the life loop by juxtaposing new, brilliant yellow flowers with older, nearly-gone blossoms.

-Letters by Van Gogh
Van Gogh might have been a brilliant poet if he hadn’t been one of the world’s most famous painters. Vincent wrote often to his brother Theo and artist pals. They also included miniature sketches of his works. Read or listen to his letters on the museum’s second level. They reveal his gentleness and character. At the Van Gogh Museum, spend time reading his letters.

-Material for Vincent’s paintings
Van Gogh Museum reveals much about Vincent’s painting and labor. The museum exhibits that facet of his work. The museum’s second level covers Van Gogh’s painting supplies and method, from his paints and color experiments to his perspective frame and other instruments.

-The Yellow House

In Arles, Vincent van Gogh stayed in the Yellow House, a renowned artist residence. He also intended to establish an art colony there. Paul Gauguin lived with him. On the second level of the Van Gogh Museum lies the iconic ‘Yellow House’.

Although his mental condition became more obvious in his later works, his ‘Almond Blossom’ stands out with its tranquility and lovely symbolism. Vincent painted it for his nephew, symbolizing fresh life. Almond trees are among the first to bloom in spring, symbolizing fresh life. Flowers were pink at first then faded. An original light blue-pink color combination represents a baby.

Van Gogh like painting flowers, including irises, in addition to sunflowers. This huge vase of irises on a yellow backdrop is a must-see at the Van Gogh Museum. Flowers on the right of the image are slowly dying, symbolizing a life cycle.

Although not his final painting, this one symbolizes Vincent’s death. The wide wheat field above Auvers-sur-Oise was where he painted for two months. Black crows soar to the dark sky above it. The field has three routes, somewhat like life paths. Van Gogh died a few days after producing this picture, therefore we wonder whether he foretold his demise.

For how long should you visit the Van Gogh Museum?

You can tour all the Van Gogh Museum attractions in Amsterdam in two hours. Although small, its four stories take time to navigate.

If you want to take your time and see a temporary show, allow three hours.

The Van Gogh Museum is wheelchair-accessible. You can easily navigate the museum with its enormous elevator.

Is Starry Night in Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum?

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam doesn’t have ‘Starry Night’. It’s in MoMA in New York.

Van Gogh Museum tickets
Pre-purchased tickets with a set start time are required to enter the Van Gogh Museum. To manage overcrowding, the museum limits admission. Click here to purchase Van Gogh Museum tickets online.

The I Amsterdam City Card does not include the Van Gogh Museum. To visit this museum using it, buy your ticket online using the link above. Read my post on whether the I Amsterdam City Card is worth it here.

Visitor tips at Van Gogh Museum
Another busy Amsterdam museum is the Rijksmuseum, which borders the Van Gogh Museum. So plan properly for your vacation. Van Gogh Museum visit advice are here.

The best time to visit Van Gogh Museum With almost two million visitors each year, the Van Gogh Museum may become crowded. Visit early in the morning. My advice: arrive at 9 am. You may also visit the Van Gogh Museum about 4 pm if you don’t like mornings.
Photos are permitted at museums today. Photography was banned at the museum for years. But now it’s acceptable. Take them without flash and upsetting other guests.
I worked as a guide at the Van Gogh Museum and can assure you that a guided tour will make your visit so much better. My employer organized this semi-private Van Gogh Museum trip. They have great guides, therefore I suggest it.
Relax in the museum café. Le Tambourin, the Van Gogh Museum café, serves coffee, wine, and light meals. Its view of Museumplein is lovely, so take a stop there while seeing the Van Gogh Museum.
Visit the top-floor bookstore of the Van Gogh Museum to read his letters or purchase his biography. It contains several art books, Van Gogh books, and children’s books about artists and art. I’ll add it to your

Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam itinerary.
World-class museums include Van Gogh Museum. This Van Gogh Museum highlights guide and advice will enhance your experience.

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