Everyday Objects in the Work of Vincent van Gogh

Sterck & De Vreese presents on July 30th

Dichterbij Vincent

(Closer to Vincent)

Alexandra van Dongen

Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890) depicted many everyday objects in his paintings and drawings. Some of his French attributes have been preserved, such as an earthenware liqueur jug, a brass milk jug and a willow chair, in which his models posed in Arles. Other material models can be identified quite precisely on the basis of Vincent's paintings and drawings, because he rendered them very naturalistically. For his famous flower still lifes he mainly used everyday artefacts as flower vases, that were originally intended for other purposes, such as a beer mug, a jam jar, ewer and grease pot.

The presence of everyday objects in Vincent's paintings and drawings offers surprising perspectives on the origins of his work. Recent research by art historian Alexandra van Dongen shows that accurate identification of the simplest objects, such as an earthenware casserole Parisienne produced in Vallauris, can shed new light on the place of manufacture and dating of Vincent's work. Alexandra focuses our eyes on details and on objects that turn out to be particularly meaningful in order to understand the work of Vincent van Gogh even better.

“It is fascinating to compare the objects depicted in Van Gogh’s paintings with the real things. We can then see how he used artistic licence to help bring his compositions to vibrant life.” - Martin Bailey, author of Van Gogh’s Finale (2021)

Alexandra van Dongen (Leiden, 1961) is curator of historic design at the Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and wrote several groundbreaking publications.

Exhibition Vincent Van GoghHuis Zundert
From 30 July to 30 October 2022, the Vincent van GoghHuis presents the exhibition 'Closer to Vincent – Everyday Objects in the Work of Vincent van Gogh', based on the research of Alexandra van Dongen. The exhibition is designed by the artists André Smits & Monika Dahlberg and contains various objects from Van Gogh's estate, from the collections of the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam and Musée d'Orsay Paris.


Dichterbij Vincent. Alledaagse voorwerpen in het werk van Vincent van Gogh | Alexandra van Dongen | ISBN 978 9056 15913 9 | Paperback, 224 pages | Release date: 30 july | € 29,90 | Dutch edition | Portrait Alexandra van Dongen by Krijn van Noordwijk


Sterck & DeVreese en Bornmeer|Noordboek vormen samen de snelst groeiende uitgeverij op het gebied van non-fictie in Nederland. De fondsen richten zich vooral op kunst en geschiedenis, natuur, filosofie, samenleving en regionale non-fictie. 

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