Van Gogh on display at the Albertina, Vienna








Albertina, Wien

Van Gogh
Heartfelt lines
Exhibition > 8 Dezember 2008







The Albertina’s large autumn exhibition is presenting Vincent van Gogh from an entirely new perspective.

The show unites both the painter and draughtsman Van Gogh, and its 150 works illustrate how much the artist’s expressive brush work in the paintings was prepared by his dynamic draughtsmanship.


Vincent Van Gogh


Vincent van Gogh
Self-portrait with straw hat and artist’s smock, 1887
Oil on canvas
© Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum – Vincent van Gogh Foundation



Fifty paintings and 100 major watercolours and drawings are on loan from over 60 lenders around the world. They underscore the artistic unity between van Gogh’s expressive draughtsmanship and his radically new use of colour.

Although Van Gogh, who described the hardship of peasants and workers out of a feeling of sympathy, had originally wanted to become a draughtsman and illustrator, he finally was to revolutionise the art of his century as an artist obsessed with colour, freeing it from the principle of the imitation of reality, as well as from the academies’ dictates of idealness.

After he moved from the Netherlands to Paris in 1886, and even more so during his two last years in southern France, Van Gogh’s palette brightened notably. The brownish hues of Salon painting suddenly gave way to the purity of glistening colours. This new colouristic intensity resulted from the artist’s immediate perception of things – he was now working outdoors, in the scorching sunlight of Provence, where he directly confronted himself with his motifs.


Vincent Van Gogh


Vincent van Gogh
Still Life with a Plate of Onions, 1889
Oil on canvas
© Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands

Vincent Van Gogh


Vincent van Gogh
The Harvest, 1888
Oil on canvas
© Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum – Vincent van Gogh Foundation



Nevertheless, Van Gogh’s original desire to be a draughtsman had an impact on the way he dealt with colour and applied it to the canvas. By the time of his suicide in Auvers in 1890, a comprehensive and intensive drawn oeuvre had accumulated; the drawings and watercolours influenced Van Gogh’s painting style profoundly, and it became a personal idiosyncrasy of his that he drew with the brush he had previously dipped into the paint, or that he applied the expressive coloured lines and dots to the canvas directly from the tube. The large, highly finished pen drawings and watercolours are equal in artistic accomplishment to Van Gogh’s paintings in all respects.


Vincent Van Gogh


Vincent van Gogh
Fishing Boats on the Beach at Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, 1888
Oil on canvas
© Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam – Vincent van Gogh Foundation

Vincent Van Gogh


Vincent van Gogh
Road near Arles (Side of a Country Lane), 1888
Oil on canvas
© Pommersches Landesmuseum, Greifswald

Vincent Van Gogh


Vincent van Gogh
Hospital at Saint-Rémy, 1889
Oil on canvas
© The Armand Hammer Collection – Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California



The Albertina’s Van Gogh exhibition does not distinguish between the painter and the draughtsman. In fact, the comprehensive show, assembling 50 paintings and 100 of the most impressive watercolours and drawings from more than 60 lenders around the globe, intends to demonstrate the interdependence between painting and drawing, as well as the correlation between Van Gogh’s new approach to colour and the expressive linear style he developed, both of which form an irresolvable creative unity.


This exhibition was compiled in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and is the largest presentation of the artist’s oeuvre since the jubilee exhibition in Amsterdam in 1990. Moreover, it is the first Van Gogh show in Austria for more than half a century.

Lenders such as: Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam), Kröller-Müller Museum (Otterlo), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Musée d’Orsay (Paris), National Gallery of Art (Washington), Guggenheim Museum (New York), Puschkin Museum (Moskau), Armand Hammer Museum (Los Angeles) and private collections.


Exhibition catalogue
On the occasion of the exhibition at the Albertina, Vienna, 5 September 2008 – 8 December 2008
Ed. by Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Sjraar van Heugten, Marije Vellekoop, Heinz Widauer. With contr. by Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Martin Bailey, Sjraar van Heugten, Fred Leeman, Teio Meedendorp, Marije Vellekoop und Heinz Widauer. Catalogue contr. by Stefanie Chaloupek, Fred Leeman, Heinz Widauer and Denise Willemstein

Köln: DuMont, 2008. 470 pp., illus.
ISBN 978-3-8321-9133-7, € 24.90





    Text © 2008 / Albertina, Wien
    Images © All rights reserved





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~ by Stampfli & Turci on September 15, 2008.

3 Responses to “Van Gogh on display at the Albertina, Vienna”

  1. […] Van Gogh on display at the Albertina, Vienna […]

  2. Die Ausstellung in der Albertina ist einfach gut gemacht, es sind vor allem eben nicht nur Werke des Themenkreises Malerei ausgestellt, sondern viele seiner basischen Zeichnungen. wirklich schön anzusehen und eindeutig einen Wienbesuch wert!
    auch sehr schön ist der Ausstellungskatalog, den hab ich mir auch gleich mitgenommen.

  3. kann mich der meinung meines “vorschreibers” nur voll und ganz anschließen. hab die van gogh ausstellung in der albertina ebenfalls schon besucht und war tief beeindruckt von der vielfalt der gezeigten werke. insgesamt sind ja 150 bilder und zeichnungen des künstlers ausgestellt, wobei mich besonders die eher unbekannten zeichnungen fasziniert haben. wenn man bedenkt, dass van gogh ein autodidakt war und sich alles selbst beigebracht hat, ist es umso erstaunlicher, welch einmalige technik er beim malen und zeichnen entwickelt hat. mit dem wissen ob seiner psychischen verfassung grenzt es beinahe an ein wunder, dass er der nachwelt solch wundervollen werke hinterlassen hat. meine empfehlung: unbedingt anschauen!

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