There is no artist in history that has left a mark in the art world quite like the brilliant Vincent Van Gogh. Now, a real treat for the imagination and a feast for the eyes comes to Abu Dhabi in a special exhibition dedicted to the works of this renowned talent.

Almost 130 years after his death, Vincent Willem van Gogh is widely known as one of the world’s great artists. While his paintings now hang in almost every major museum and gallery across the globe and sell at auction for millions of dollars, Van Gogh’s life was marked by periods of grinding poverty, crippling mental health problems and a yearning to be recognized by his peers. Van Gogh, who took his own life in 1890 aged only 37-years old, is remembered today as the quintessential tortured genius. During his career he produced 2,100 artworks and of his 860 oil paintings – including now world-famous still life pieces, portraits and landscapes – the majority were made over the last two years of his life.

His most famous and familiar paintings include a series of self-portraits, which feature unique brushstrokes and great attention to detail. Van Gogh painted himself in varying stages of his life, with the portraits often revealing his poor health and fragile state of mind. The artist’s ‘Sunflowers’ series was catapulted into the public’s attention in 1987 when it sold at auction for almost US$40 million at Christie’s London.

One of his most famous landscapes, ‘The Starry Night’, has been on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York since 1941. Featuring swirling brush strokes of stars over an idyllic village scene, the painting is widely regarded as one of Van Gogh’s finest works and a masterpiece of western art.

THE EXHIBITION

Van Gogh Alive combines a specially chosen score of classical music with some of the artist’s most famous paintings as well as other inspirational images all displayed on the walls, floor and ceiling of the exhibition space using 40 high-definition projectors. Held under the patronage of the Minister of Culture & Knowledge Development, the experience is being brought to the UAE by 6IX Degrees Entertainment. The experience will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Theatre until February 26 before moving on to Dubai where it will be on show at Dubai Design District from March 11 to April 23. Tickets are available to buy for the Abu Dhabi exhibition on Platinum List, Virgin Megastore or at The National Theatre.

Van Gogh Alive combines a specially chosen score of classical music with some of the artist’s most famous paintings as well as other inspirational images all displayed on the walls, floor and ceiling…

 

NEED TO KNOW10 THINGS ABOUT VAN GOGH


He had a brother with the same nameVincent had an older brother who died at birth, his name was also Vincent Van Gogh.

His most famous artwork was created while in an asylumHe painted one of his most famous paintings, ‘Starry Night’ while in an asylum in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France.

He only sold one painting while he was aliveAlthough he painted more than 900 paintings in his lifetime, he only sold one painting in that time, The Red Vineyard. Van Gogh became famous only after his death.

It’s still unclear whether his death was suicideVan Gogh died in 1890 under mysterious circumstances. One theory is that he committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest, but a recent theory also suggests that there is a possibility he was murdered.

He was too poor to pay his modelsWhen Van Gogh first began painting he used peasants to model as he was too poor to hire real models.

He suffered from multiple illnessesThe main condition Van Gogh suffered from was thought to be temporal epilepsy, a chronic neurological condition characterised by recurrent and unprovoked seizures. During one of his seizures, he attempted to attack his friend Paul Gauguin with an open razor which resulted in Vincent cutting off a piece of his own ear – but not the whole ear as is often rumored.

The colours we see in his paintings are not as he intendedAlthough Van Gogh is famous for the rich colours in his work, the colours we see are actually not what he intended – particularly the yellow tones. Van Gogh used an unstable pigment called ‘chrome yellow’ that was prone to fading or browning over time, so you can only imagine the luminosity his paintings once held.

His sister-in-law made him famousAfter both his brothers died, his sister-in-law Johanna inherited hundreds of paintings and made it her mission to promote Van Gogh’s work, loaning pieces to various exhibitions.

He wrote over 800 letters in his lifeMainly to his brother, Theo, who financially supported Van Gogh for most of his life. His letters were later published by his sister-in-law, Joanna, in an effort to have his life story heard.

He aspired to be a pastorAlthough Van Gogh went on to be one of the world’s most famous artists (albeit without him knowing), his earliest career aspiration was to be a pastor in the Dutch Reformed Church, following in his father’s footsteps.


 

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