Treasures are held in edges of her life
14″ x 24″ • 2022
Van Gogh collected 660 Japanese woodblock prints starting in spring of 1887 to his final days in July of 1890. He surrounded himself with them. He loved the ordinary prints that were colored in flat tones. Much of his collection was from the Hamburg-born art dealer Siegfried Bing. Bing began trading in Japanese art in 1878, at the time of the worlds fair in Paris where he opened three galleries focusing on Japan. Van Gogh chose most of his collection from an attic above one of the galleries, which was said to have had thousands of Japanese prints. Van Gogh acquired his great quantities at low pries from Bing, hoping to someday become a print dealer himself. He instead used them as artistic examples for his paintings.
“And we wouldn’t be able to study Japanese art, it seems to me, without becoming much happier and more cheerful, and it makes us return to nature, despite our education and our work in a world of convention.”
– Vincent van Gogh in a letter to Theo van Gogh; September 1888