Vincent & Edvard

The first major exhibition uniting works by Vincent Van Gogh and Edvard Munch

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam 25. September 2015 - 17. January 2016

Left: Vincent van Gogh. Starry Night over the Rhône, 1888. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Gift of Mr and Mrs Robert Kahn-Sriber, in memory of Mr and Mrs Fernand Moch, 1975 . Right: Edvard Munch. Starry Night, 1922-192. Munch Museum, Oslo. 

Left: Vincent van Gogh. Starry Night over the Rhône, 1888. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Gift of Mr and Mrs Robert Kahn-Sriber, in memory of Mr and Mrs Fernand Moch, 1975 . Right: Edvard Munch. Starry Night, 1922-192. Munch Museum, Oslo. 

The Van Gogh Museum is presenting Munch : Van Gogh, this major exhibition brings together work by Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch for the first time, focusing on the common ground between the two. The unique exhibition features more than 100 works of art including rarely loaned out pieces such as Munch's The Scream and Van Gogh's Starry Night over the Rhone and was opened by Princess Beatrix, former Queen of the Netherlands, and Queen Sonja of Norway.

Princess Beatrix and Queen Sonja of Norway accompanied by Axel Rüger, the director of the Van Gogh Museum (l) and Stein Olav Henrichsen, the director of the Munch Museum Oslo (r), next to The Starry Nights. Photo: Jan-Kees Steenman

Princess Beatrix and Queen Sonja of Norway accompanied by Axel Rüger, the director of the Van Gogh Museum (l) and Stein Olav Henrichsen, the director of the Munch Museum Oslo (r), next to The Starry Nights. Photo: Jan-Kees Steenman

Left: Vincent van Gogh. Self-Portrait as a Painter, 1887-1888. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. (Vincent van Gogh Foundation). Right: Edvard Munch. Self-Portrait with Palette, 1926. Private collection.

Left: Vincent van Gogh. Self-Portrait as a Painter, 1887-1888. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. (Vincent van Gogh Foundation). Right: Edvard Munch. Self-Portrait with Palette, 1926. Private collection.

Both Edvard Munch (1863 - 1944) and Vincent Van Gogh (1853 - 1890) are famous for their emotionally charged work, their innovative style and tormented lives. Both devoted their artistry to exploring emotions, taking a radical avant-garde approach. Both moved to Paris to study art, which at the time was hub of everything that was new and modern, a meeting place for the avant-garde, where new movements such as impressionism and pointillism thrived.

Using paint and canvas in entirely new ways, Munch and Van Gogh explored existential questions of birth and death, fear, human suffering, solace, hope and love. Although  paintings like Van Gogh's Sunflowers or Munch's Vampire are mostly known as individual works of art, they were in fact originally intended as part of a series; Munch's Frieze of Life and Van Gogh's Décoration. Works from these series enter a dialogue in the exhibition shown in Amsterdam. 

Inspired by the exhibition, ten prominent cultural institutes in Amsterdam (including EYE, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, the Veem Theatre, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Het Dolhuys, De Balie and De Appel) will present a cultural programme this autumn. Using film, performance, debate and music, these institutes will demonstrate the impact that the two artists still have on art and culture today.