Exhibition on Screen: Van Gogh and Japan (#)

Afternoon Arts

Photo of Van Gogh painting

This film explores the little known story of just how important Van Gogh's study of Japan was, exploring the remarkable heritage that so affected him and made him the artist we know of today.

“I envy the Japanese”  Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo.

In the exhibition on which this film is based Van Gogh and Japan at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam – one can see why. Though Vincent van Gogh never visited Japan it is the country that had the most profound influence on him and his art.

One cannot understand Van Gogh without understanding how Japanese art arrived in Paris in the middle of the 19th century and the profound impact it had on artists like Monet, Degas and, above all, Van Gogh.

Visiting the new galleries of Japanese art in Paris and then creating his own image of Japan – through in-depth research, print collecting and detailed discussions with other artists – Van Gogh’s encounter with Japanese artworks gave his work a new and exciting direction.

UK 2019 Dir David Bickerstaff 89 mins

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