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Daily Dutch News in English

Van Gogh’s sketchbooks for sale

Of the many sketchbooks that Van Gogh must have had, only four have been preserved. They are in the collection of the Van Gogh Museum, and three are now included in the anniversary exhibition Van Gogh at work. This exhibition is accompanied by a unique publication: the first-ever facsimile edition of all four sketchbooks. The original sketchbooks provide an intimate glimpse into the painter’s life and working methods, with sketches in pencil, pen, ink and chalk, personal notes, addresses and lines of verse. The first sketchbook dates from Nuenen and the fourth from his final days in Auvers-sur-Oise. The other two contain work and notes from Van Gogh’s years in Nuenen, Antwerp and Paris.

The facsimile is a joint publication of The Folio Society in London and the Van Gogh Museum. The sketchbooks are housed in an impressive display box that also contains a folder of facsimiles of loose leaves from the sketchbooks and a slim volume of commentary by Marije Vellekoop, Head of Collections, and Renske Suijver, Van Gogh Museum researcher. The facsimile edition is limited to 1,000 copies and can be purchased in the museum shop and shortly at Marije Vellekoop says, ‘This facsimile edition fulfils a long-standing ambition of the Van Gogh Museum. We are extraordinarily pleased with the exquisite, inspirational result, which provides a glimpse into Van Gogh’s life and work.’

Van Gogh at work
The original sketchbooks in the Van Gogh Museum collection are included in the anniversary exhibition Van Gogh at work, which focuses on the artist’s working methods. Visitors can see and experience how Van Gogh developed, through ten years of work and learning, into a unique artist with an astounding oeuvre. The exhibition comprises around 200 works of art, including 150 paintings, works on paper, letters and Van Gogh’s personal effects – not only his original sketchbooks, but also paint tubes and his only surviving palette, on loan from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Many masterpieces from the Van Gogh Museum collection are presented in eye-opening combinations with unique loans, such as the Sunflowers from the National Gallery in London and The bedroom from the Art Institute of Chicago.

The exhibition marks the conclusion of an eight-year programme of research, jointly undertaken by the Van Gogh Museum, its Partner in Science Shell Nederland and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. It will run until 12 January 2014 and is open daily from 9 am.