The third of Amsterdam's heavyweight art museums, along with the Stedelijk and the Rijksmuseum, it opened in 1973 and designed by Gerrit Rietveld, the leading exponent of the Dutch De Stijl movement. The museum has three floors of white space in which to show off the tortured artist's ethereal works to their best advantage. Vincent van Gogh was born in 1853 in Groot-Zundert in the south of Holland and during his short life he produced over 800 paintings. More than 200 of his portraits, landscapes, and still lifes, plus more than 500 drawings, are held in the collections here, forming the biggest cache of Van Gogh in the world. Displays start with various works from different points in Van Gogh's career, hung alongside contemporary work by Pissarro, Gauguin, and Monet to provide useful historical context.
The exhibition on the second floor shows the artist finding his way stylistically, and this is where you'll see Van Gogh’s seminal paintings as his career is tracked from his early still lifes through his Japanese stage to his untimely death at Arles in 1890. Van Gogh was extraordinarily prolific in his last years and world-famous examples of his brilliance on display here include the gloomy "Potato Eaters"(1885); "Bedroom at Arles" (1888); and an 1889 version of "Sunflowers." The museum's bulbous Exhibition Wing by Kisho Kurokawa was opened in 1999 and houses temporary exhibitions.
The Van Gogh Museum has surged in popularity in recent years, becoming the most-visited museum in the Netherlands. That means that despite the switch to online-only timed tickets, there are always snaking queues of visitors out front, no matter the time of year.