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Van Gogh at the NGV

words by niall roeder

A massive Van Gogh exhibition is coming to Melbourne.

This is ear-severingly good news for art fans. An intimate exhibition of more than 60 of the great post impressionist’s works will be showing at the National Gallery of Victoria as part of Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series in 2017.

Van Gogh and the Seasons has been put together by Sjraar van Heugten, former head honcho at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam and general art madman. The exciting exhibition is internationally exclusive to Melbourne and contains key works that have never before been shown down under.

With psychotic episodes, delusions, depression, suicide and the infamous ear-slicing incident, to say Van Gogh led a turbulent life is an understatement. The works included in Van Gogh and the Seasons show us where many of the Dutch artist’s defining moments went down – his birthplace, the city in which he creatively excelled, the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum; and Auvers-sur-Oise, where Van Gogh tragically took his own life.

As the name suggests, the exhibit explores the connection Van Gogh had with the seasons and the cyclical nature of life – birth, bloom, maturity and death. His works repeatedly depict scenes that evoke the senses in relation to each season – “spring-time, with its blossoming orchards and flowering meadows; summer, with fields of ripe wheat shimmering under the hot sun; autumn, with bountiful harvests and solitary figures sowing seeds as dusk approaches; and winter, with peasants digging potatoes out of frozen fields, or sharing a meagre meal by candlelight.”

Viewers are encouraged to contemplate Van Gogh’s tragically captivating life and experiences while navigating through the 40 paintings, 25 drawings and collection of personal letters.

Van Gogh and the Seasons is at The National Gallery of Victoria from April 28 – July 9.

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