The National Gallery of Victoria’s annual ‘Winter Masterpieces’ series opened this week with another great blockbuster Van Gogh and the Seasons. If you’re lucky enough to be living Melbourne, or to be visiting here before 9 July 2017, then make sure you don’t miss this.
Unlike many blockbusters, this exhibition presents the 50 or so works in a concise, simple, clear viewing environment. Each exhibit has its own unadorned wall, and the works are displayed in four screened sections, each devoted to a season so loved by Van Gogh. The affect is so refreshing.
Melancholy autumn is presented in the first section exploring harvests and seed sowing as depicted in one of only a few sketches in the exhibition.
Moving on to winter the scenes are of peasants digging potatoes and frozen landscapes portray a winter bleakness.
Springtime follows with bursts of colour. Because of the manner in which these paintings are exhibited, it’s possible to view closely the three dimensional affect Van Gogh was able to create through the use of his fingers, a palette knife and bold smears and dabs employed to create relief. It’s sheer genius and you can see this up close. Wow!
“At present I’m busy with the fruit trees in blossom: pink peach trees, yellow-white pear trees. I follow no system of brushwork at all; I hit the canvas with irregular strokes which I leave as they are”
Vincent Van Gogh Arles 1888
We arrive at summer and the colours explode on the canvas. Wheat sheafs, swirling clouds, cypress trees, and the colour filled fields of southern France are testament to Van Gogh’s love of the seasons and his dedication to the perpetual cycle of nature.
“It requires a certain dose of inspiration, a ray from on high which doesn’t belong to us, to do beautiful things“ Vincent Van Gogh Saint-Remy-de-Provence 1890
Other features of the exhibition include a 9 minute film about Van Gogh and material and artworks from his own collection.
Discover more by viewing the attached link to a video prepared by NGV.
Van Gogh and the Seasons from NGV on Vimeo.
Further further information about programs and events click here