Discover the Van Gogh Museum

Amsterdam Tourist Guide: Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh museum entrance in Amsterdam

One of the most famous and influential artists of all time, Dutch Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh is the sole focus of this contemporary building at the Museumplein in Amsterdam. To sound like a native, it may be fun to first try and get your tongue around his name. Be sure to ask a local for the correct pronunciation of “van Gogh” and expect a laugh as you try it yourself.

The story of Van Gogh unfolds

The museum is laid out chronologically. The story of the troubled life of Vincent van Gogh unfolds as you make your way through the museum. Beginning with his early life, you will see examples of Vincent’s first attempts at art, and can read his correspondence with his brother to gain insight into the man himself.

Vincent van Gogh, Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh with sketch of The Potato Eaters, Nuenen, 9 April 1885, pen and ink on paper, 20.7 x 26.4 cm, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation) Letter 492

His paintings, sketches and drawings are interspersed with quotes and contextual information, taking you through the evolution of his talent and the devolution of his mind. You will come away with a deeper understanding of not only his artwork, but the emotions behind their creation.

Collection highlights

The Van Gogh museum holds the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh artwork in the world. Here, you will be able to gaze upon many versions of his famous Sunflowers or the delicate beauty of Almond Blossom and Irises. You will get to see most of his masterpieces, including The Potato Eaters, The Yellow House and The Bedroom.

As you navigate the galleries, you can see Van Gogh’s iconic brush strokes and painting style develop. The collection includes numerous self-portraits from throughout his career, revealing the changing way he viewed himself over the years.

Something for the family

Finding attractions to please both children and grown-ups can be tough. However, if you are visiting the Van Gogh museum with children, the special family guide, aimed at children aged between six and twelve, will bring the artwork to life for them too. The museum has also created an entertaining treasure hunt to keep children engaged throughout the duration of their visit. If your kids are more hands-on and love to get involved, pick up a free Vincent’s Travelling Case when you arrive at the museum. It is filled with fun assignments to help your little ones discover the beauty of Van Gogh along with you.

Van Gogh museum shop

Museumsquareshop (Paulus Potterstraat 1). Photo: Jan-Kees Steenman

Whilst most museums have you exit through the gift shop, the one in the Van Gogh museum is well worth your time. An extensive amount of merchandise has been inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s artwork. Here, you will find far more than just prints of his paintings. You can take home Sunflowers kitchenware, or come away with wallets, bags and clothing emblazoned with details taken from Van Gogh’s paintings. If you would prefer something elegant, the gift shop features an exclusive range of luxury gifts such as silk kimonos and designer jewellery, all of which capture the spirit of Vincent van Gogh.

Images courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum’s press bank.

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