On 7 June, the Van Gogh Museum is launching a new scholarly catalogue of Theo and Vincent van Gogh’s extensive art collection. This is the first of a series of catalogues to appear in a new digital environment accessible to everyone.
Vincent and Theo’s Art Collection
In addition to Vincent van Gogh’s artistic legacy, the Van Gogh Museum also manages paintings, drawings and prints by other 19th-century artists that Theo and Vincent van Gogh collected between 1880 and 1890. Highlights from that collection, such as Paul Gauguin’s Self-Portrait with a Portrait of Emile Bernard (Les misérables) or Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s A Young Woman at a Table, ‘Poudre de riz’ are permanently on view. The online catalogue Contemporaries of Van Gogh 1: Works Collected by Theo and Vincent discloses this sub-collection for the first time in a scholarly manner through entries and an in-depth introductory essay.
Artistic Context of Van Gogh’s work
Of the more than 250 works that Theo and Vincent collected, a selection of 136 was made and is described in detail. The criteria for the selection was based on the importance of these works for both the history of art and the Van Gogh brothers themselves. The research underlying this catalogue reveals how Vincent and Theo’s tastes developed, how they built up their joint network in the Parisian art world, and how they thought strategically about the pieces they had acquired previously. The works by the contemporaries that the brothers brought together provide the artistic context in which Vincent van Gogh’s work originated and as such are vital to the museum’s mission.
Van Gogh Museum Collection Catalogues
The catalogue of Theo and Vincent’s collection marks an important development: it will be published in the new digital environment Van Gogh Museum Collection Catalogues. The recently published catalogue of paintings and drawings by Odilon Redon will also be added to this website in the near future, as will all of the collection catalogues of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings, which until now have only appeared in book form.
The great advantage of publishing a collection catalogue online is being able to expand and update the content, including new insights, literature and exhibitions. The reading tools – such as footnotes that become visible when you slide over them with your mouse and the sidebar menu with all the data on the work in question – facilitate and enrich your reading experience. In addition, these online publications are free of charge and accessible to everyone anywhere in the world.
Authors and Designers
The catalogue Contemporaries of Van Gogh 1: Works Collected by Theo and Vincent was written by Joost van der Hoeven, Franka Blok, Nina Reid, Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho, Lisa Smit, Renske Suijver and Sara Tas. Construction of the digital environment, Van Gogh Museum Collection Catalogues, was realised by Q42 and its design by DEPT®.
The online catalogue can be accessed via the website: catalogues.vangoghmuseum.com.