A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I am a big fan of the iconic Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh and I have been inspired by him. From a very early age I watched movies like ‘Lust for Life’ and ‘Akira Kurasowa’s Dreams’, these movies also made an indelible impression about Vincent Van Gogh in my mind.
Living in Holland and being a fan of Vincent Van Gogh meant, I could not miss visiting one place in particular. This was the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. I have spent a couple of days just wandering around this museum.
However there is another museum which exhibits some exceptional works of Van Gogh, but which perhaps doesn’t receive the same adulation that The Van Gogh museum gets. I am referring to the Kröller-Müller Museum located in Otterlo, Netherlands. Exceptionally the museum is situated in a the middle of a the Hoge Veluwe National Park , incredible surroundings indeed!
In fact the history of this place is also very interesting as this museum was founded by a certain Helene Kröller-Müller, who was among the first to recognize the sheer genius of Van Gogh’s works. The collections were donated by her in the year 1935 to the Government of The Netherlands.
The Van Gogh collection over there is one of the largest in the world, in some ways even better than the Van Gogh museum. Exhibits such as The Potato Eaters (1885), The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum Arles at Night, 1888, Portrait of Postman Joseph Roulin (1888), The Sower (1888), Four Cut Sunflowers (1887), and Self-Portrait (1887) are among the famous ones. Apart from these there are plenty of early drawings and watercolor works of Van Gogh dating from the 1870’s. Perhaps what makes The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum Arles at Night very well known is that this was the first time that Van Gogh actually painted a starry sky!
Besides Van Gogh’s there are also some very cool exhibits from the pointillism expert Georges Seurat and works by Claude Monet, which are on exhibition at the museum.
The museum is also home to an incredible sculpture garden, the sculpture garden is also very much an extension to this wonderful museum. There is a definite harmony that is present between this garden and its surroundings as it just merges into the surroundings. It can even seem like a small adventure to find the works of art which are located in this garden! My favourite place in the sculpture garden is the Jardin d’email by Jean Dubuffe which can be considered as an artificial garden in a garden of real trees and real lawns.
In conclusion I can say that one might come to this museum to discover more of Van Gogh but would leave enriched with so many other experiences as well!