Would you like to learn more about Vincent van Gogh or his contemporaries? In a series of free lectures we're highlighting a theme raised by an exhibition or recent research.
The lectures take place in the auditorium at 2 pm on a Sunday afternoon. The lectures are Dutch spoken, unless stated otherwise.
This lecture will be given in Dutch
The craze for Japanese art in Paris
By Nienke Bakker, Curator, Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh discovered Japanese colour woodcuts during his time in Paris (1886–88), at which point Japan had already been fashionable in the French capital for some years. Dealers and exhibitions paid considerable attention to art from the Far East and artists drew inspiration from this new creative example.
Van Gogh was not the only one to fall for the prints’ charms: Impressionists like Claude Monet and Edgar Degas, as well as Van Gogh’s friends Emile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, incorporated Japanese creative inventions in their own art. This lecture places Van Gogh in the wider context of French Japonisme.
This lecture will be given in English
Symbolism, Japonisme, and the Grotesque
By Frances Connelly, Professor of Modern Art at the University of Missouri – Kansas City
The grotesque plays an outsized role in modern and contemporary art, and finds especially fertile ground in the artistic movements of the late 19th century. The monstrous, uncanny, abject, aberrant: all find new expression in the fin-de-siècle. To be sure, the expressive range in this period is striking, easily demonstrated by comparing the hybrid creatures imagined by Redon with those of Böcklin, the distorted bodies of Rodin with those of Beardsley, or the cadaverous crowds of Munch with the satirical masquerades of Ensor.
The enthusiastic assimilation of Japanese imagery spurred even bolder experimentation in the realm of the grotesque for many artists, including Van Gogh, opening new potentialities in facture, form, and content.