Here is a beautiful exploration of Van Gogh’s obsession with Japan, revealing a selection of the prints he owned himself (all from the Van Gogh Museum), side by side with his own paintings and sketches, including the Almond Blossoms masterpiece, The Courtesan, Plum Blossom and Bridge in the Rain. This opportunity to share Van Gogh’s vision lends us a compelling insight into one of the most powerful creative influences behind his art.
Vincent van Gogh fell under the spell of Japanese printmaking in Paris, where he purchased more than 600 prints from a dealer. He hung them in his studio, and they taught him a new way of looking at the world. Van Gogh liked the unusual spatial effects, the expanses of strong colour, the everyday subjects and the attention to details from nature. He was also keen to find a modern, more primitive kind of painting that engaged directly with the viewer. Japanese prints showed him the way, with nature still as his starting point.