Van Gogh: Still Lifes

26. Oct 2019 – 2. Feb 2020

“Painting still lifes is the beginning of everything,” Van Gogh remarked in the winter of 1884–85. Nevertheless, before this show at the Museum Barberini, there had never been an exhibition devoted exclusively to this genre in Van Gogh’s oeuvre.

The exhibition Van Gogh: Still Lifes examined the experimental, pioneering nature of the still lifes of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) and, for the first time, paid tribute to the significance of this genre in his work. The artist achieved the exceptional in his still lifes: this was the perfect medium for his struggle with the expressive power of color. His persistent experimentation with the genre reflects his artistic development. He preempted modernism with this genre without forsaking the important role that still life had played in Dutch painting ever since the seventeenth century. The result is an emblematic, existential art that continues to radiate energy today.


“The exhibition Van Gogh: Still Lifes at the Museum Barberini is the first show to focus entirely on this genre in the painter’s work—an astonishing fact given the omnipresence of his Sunflowers series. It was through his work in still life that Van Gogh achieved the exceptional.”

Ortrud Westheider, Director of the Museum Barberini

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