CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

De vrienden van Van Gogh

Van Gogh's friends Exhibition: 20 April - 8 July 2007

From the museum website

This print room presentation features 40 drawings, prints, paintings and letters by a number of important friends of Van Gogh, such as Anthon van Rappard, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Camille Pissarro.Van Gogh also associated with talented artists who received less recognition, such as Isaac Meyer de Haan. Van Gogh’s friends sheds light on the influential group of artists in Van Gogh’s circle.

Archibald Standish Hartrick (1864-1950)
Portrait of Vincent van Gogh, 1886-87
Van Gogh Museum (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)

Van Gogh is often thought of as an einzelgänger, a loner, yet during his career he was surrounded by artists. He brought people together, provoked discussions, acted as a mediator between temperamental artists, and encouraged experiments and exhibitions. These artists in turn influenced Van Gogh’s personal and artistic development. A number of them are still famous today, but Van Gogh also associated with talented artists who received less recognition, such as Isaac Meyer de Haan.

Friends in Holland

During his Dutch period, Van Gogh was in touch with such painters as Anton Mauve and Anthon van Rappard, with whom he collaborated.

Friends in France 

While staying with his brother Theo, art dealer in Paris, Van Gogh was part of an avant-garde group of artists that included Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, Paul Signac, Louis Anquetin and Camille Pissarro. They shared an ideal – the development of modern art – and employed to this end a variety of styles. This is well expressed in the painted portraits they made of one another. A good example is the portrait that Archibald Standish Hartrick (1864 –1950) made of Van Gogh.

After leaving Paris, Van Gogh kept up a lively correspondence with various members of the group. Their letters contain discussions of philosophy, art and current events, and also mention the works of art they sometimes exchanged. A number of these works and the relevant letters are on display in this exhibition. Van Gogh’s death in 1890 provoked an outpouring of condolences and prompted discussions that revealed his place in the art world of his day. The great amount of literature subsequently published on the life and work of Van Gogh shows that Theo was right when he said: ‘He certainly won’t be forgotten.’