The vase that isn’t a vase: objects in Van Gogh’s work inform a narrative

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The on a regular basis objects Vincent van Gogh utilized in his work had been certainly on a regular basis and due to this fact disposable, however their identification offers clues to Van Gogh’s working strategies and even modified the hometown of considered one of his works, a brand new exhibition reveals.

Solely three of the unique objects painted by Van Gogh survive – a Norman copper milk jug, a small French earthenware liqueur jug ​​and a small Japanese-style stoneware vase – however what, artwork historian Alexandra van Dongen questioned, may the opposite objects inform her in regards to the painter and his strategies?

Though not a lot is unexplored on the subject of the life and work of one of many Netherlands’ most well-known painters, Van Dongen discovered that the objects Van Gogh utilized in his work had not been studied in depth.

To search out out extra, she studied the ceramic and glass shards of on a regular basis kitchenware unearthed from the backyard of Van Gogh’s mother and father’ vicarage in Nuenen and checked French second-hand markets.

“The seek for vases, pots and pans and kettles was nice enjoyable and led to all types of collections, collectors and French markets the place I picked up similar nineteenth century objects for a track,” Van Dongen instructed scorching Parool.

Considered one of Van Dongen’s most vital discoveries modified the notion of the place Van Gogh painted his Nonetheless life with potatoes. Initially thought to have been painted in Nuenen, the identification of the French earthenware pan helped place its origin in Paris.

“It turned out that the pan had been made in Vallauris and that nearly each French kitchen had one,” Van Dongen mentioned. Nearer examine of the canvas additionally revealed the stamp of the Parisian artwork provide firm Tasse et L’Hôtel, which pegged it to Van Gogh’s Parisian interval, and 1885, not 1886.


She additionally discovered that Van Gogh’s many vases for his sunflowers had been typically not vases in any respect however beer jugs, majolica jugs and in a single case a storage jar for duck confit. These had been all telling clues to the place Van Gogh was on the time and what his setting appeared like.

Van Dongen’s want to delve into the origins of objects depicted in work isn’t new. In 2012 I found {that a} pot painted by Jan van Eyck within the fifteenth century was an apothecary pot from Damascus. This made it the earliest recognized depiction of Arabic pottery in European artwork. That sort of discovery actually makes me completely satisfied,” she instructed scorching Parool.

Nearer to Vincent – ​​On a regular basis objects within the works of Vincent van Gogh is on on the Vincent van Gogh Home in Zundert till October 30.

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