The Van Gogh Museum houses the world’s largest collection of drawings, paintings and letters by VincentVanGogh, alongside works by Van Gogh’s contemporaries, and is dedicated to exhibiting the works to as broad an audience as possible. Welcoming 1.6 million visitors every year, the museum is one of the 35 most visited museums in the world.
The museum owns 200 of Van Gogh's 860 documented paintings, 400 of his drawings and watercolors, and all of his 819 letters.
The current presentation spreads over four floors, the ground floor giving a broad overview of his life, the second and fourth floors a chronological overview of his professional achievement, and the third floor offers backgrounds to his life, family, and work.
Interspersed are high quality works by major contemporaries like Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec, influencing artists like Monet and Pissarro, and artists inspired by Van Gogh, like Kees van Dongen and Francis Bacon.
Of course, you may venture to explore this hotbed of early modern art by yourself, but you are likely to give up after having seen only a floor and a half, exhausted by the sheer number of works from which you are not able to choose. So do yourself a favor and make use of an expert guide on Van Gogh to enjoy a personalized tour of Van Gogh’s life and work.
Art historian Michel Didier has written a book on VincentVanGogh in 1990, has written audioguide texts for the Van Gogh Museum in the 1990s, and has given countless lectures on Van Gogh and tours of the museum since 1987.
He will show you how VincentVanGogh turned his religious fervour into art, and how that fervour took the shape of a Japan-inspired art colony in the South of France. With the help of a hand-held device for many additional images, he offers an astonishing insight in the life and times of the most popular artist in the world.
Just wanted to send you a brief note on behalf of me and Adele to thank you for the wonderful experience you gave us at both at the Rjiksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum this past Summer. You brought both the paintings and the history to life for us. I was particularly moved by your passion for and knowledge of Van Gogh. You were terrific. We will be back soon and hope that you will be available to show us through the exhibits we missed.
Dana Levitt, Los Angeles, CA
Michael - Thank you for the two great tours of the Van Gogh Museum as well as the Rijksmuseum. Your knowledge, insight, and enthusiasm were much appreciated. I would recommend anyone looking to really understand art to go for a tour with you. All the best.
David V. Alhadeff, Bellevue, Washington
Thank you SO much for a really fabulous morning at the museums on Saturday. Everyone was thrilled with your fascinating explanations and insights into the life and work of Van Gogh and the extremely good overview you gave us at the Stedelijk.
Jane Rae & Charles Fitzroy, London
We really did have a stunning day and cannot thank you enough for your contribution towards it. You really have made Van Gogh come alive to me. As it turned out Mike lost the poster we had bought of his sea scene at the Museum and I managed to order it on line (the postage came to 4 times the cost of the poster) but it is hanging in our garage and every time I look at it that warm feeling comes over me – almost as though Van Gogh’s talking to me. Thank you for making it such an exceptional day.
Karin Newton, Cape Town, SA
The collection of the Van Gogh Museum, of course, is exceptional, and our guide was an expert who was also engaging and entertaining.
Jane & Paul Quirer, Fresno
Michel Didier is a Van Gogh scholar, and his perspective and interesting background information was enlightening.
Barbara Alexander Stiles & Thomas Stiles, Monarch Beach, CA
We enjoyed this tour very much. Michel was very informative and gave us a great tour of this museum.
Anne & George Gagen, US
Eine sympatische, kompetente und flexible Führung.
Eva-Bettina HartigVincentVanGogh suggestions:
1 Tour: two-hour overall view of VincentVanGogh's career as an artist by art historian Michel Didier: € 150,- for 1-4 persons
2 Seminar: extensive exploration of the exhibition by the same, three hours or more: from € 200,- for 1-4 persons
3 Lecture & tour: one-hour Power Point presentation in a close-by venue, followed by a two-hour tour of the entire museum: € 250,- for up to 5 persons
Vincent van Gogh in Amsterdam
For the insatiable, I also offer the unique Vincent van Gogh in Amsterdam tour. Vincent van Gogh lived in Amsterdam for a full year, prior to his becoming an artist, to prepare for a theological exam. He took up lodgings with a paternal uncle, Jan, who was a naval commander, and Van Gogh wandered around the early industrial area between the navy quays and the brand new Central Station. Also, he attended many sermons by preachers he knew or admired, in various churches and chapels in the oldest part of town.
Here he fell in love with a maternal cousin, and spent much time wooing her – to no avail. He also failed the exam, but eight years later, in 1885, he returned to Amsterdam to visit the newly opened Rijksmuseum.
This is a two-hour walk through a pretty, and pretty old, but largely neglected part of the city and the oldest port of Amsterdam.
Cost: € 150,-
For requests, information, or other options, contact Michel Didier →