MFAH Opens “Vincent van Gogh, His Life in Art” on March 10th

See more than 50 masterworks by one of the most iconic artists in the history of Western art

Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art explores the artist through rarely loaned paintings and drawings from throughout the decade of his career from March 10-June 27, 2019

In March 2019, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) presents Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art, an exhibition showcasing key passages in the artist’s life, from his early sketches to his final paintings and also chronicles his pursuit of becoming an artist.

The Museum is the only venue for His Life in Art, presenting more than 50 portraits, landscapes, and still lives.

The exhibition will be on view at the MFAH from March 10 to June 27, 2019. Exhibit is organized by the MFAH in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo.

“This exhibition will offer visitors a vivid portrait of Van Gogh’s evolution as an artist,” commented MFAH Director Gary Tinterow.  “We are grateful to the Van Gogh and Kröller-Müller museums for lending so many of these rarely traveled masterworks from their collections for this exclusive presentation here in Houston.”

In a major collaboration, the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, which, together, hold the largest collections in the world of Van Gogh’s work, will lend pieces to Houston.

Significant works will also travel from Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Wallraf–Richartz Museum, Cologne; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; Art Institute of Chicago; the Dallas Museum of Art; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio; and private collections.

“The popular story of Van Gogh has tended to focus on his last few  years and his death,” said David Bomford, curator of the exhibition and chair, Department of Conservation, and Audrey Jones Beck Curator, Department of European Art, MFAH. “But there is a rich and complex narrative that starts much earlier, one that is defined by Van Gogh’s tremendous drive to become an artist.”

Exhibition Overview

The exhibition explores Vincent van Gogh’s early years as an artist in the Dutch village of Nuenen from 1883 to 1885 as well as his renewed inspiration following exposure to fellow artists and city life in Paris. 

In his further development in Arles, Van Gogh created series of landscapes and vibrant portraits. Lastly his inspiration from nature, reflected in the paintings he created toward the end of his life in Saint-Rémy and Auvers.

In addition, facsimiles of Van Gogh’s letters will build out the narrative of the artist’s life. Incorporated throughout the exhibition, they trace his hopes of becoming a marketable painter in Paris, his longing to live among a community of artists, and his struggles with his personal relationships and his mental health.


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Photos courtesy of MFAH