Vincent van Gogh was born today! On March 30th 1853 in Zundert, a small town in the Netherlands. The Dutch artist would have celebrated his 164th birthday. To celebrate this day, we, Dutch Culture USA, asked the Consul-General, the Cultural Attaché and the Cultural Officer, Shared Cultural Heritage and Dutch Old Masters of the Consulate-General of the Netherlands in New York, what their favorite artwork by Van Gogh is.
The Consul-General, Dolph Hoogewoning, replied convincingly “The Postman”. Dolph continues explaining “normally people would choose ‘The Starry Night’ by Van Gogh, which is too obvious. Yet I like this painting better. It’s sophisticated and serene. Also, it’s one of Van Gogh’s unique portraits since Van Gogh usually paints landscapes”. The postman depicts the portrait of postman Roulin, painted in 1888 in Arles. Van Gogh painted several paintings of The Roulin Family. The painting is on view at Detroit Institute of Arts.
The Cultural Attaché, Jan Kennis, lays his interests on “The Girl in White”, also known as “Young Girl Standing Against a Background of Wheat” and “Woman in a Cornfield” painted in 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise in France. Actually, Jan would prefer a painting from Van Gogh’s early years, when he was still painting in Nuenen. Jan says “that’s where I’m from!” Nevertheless, Jan continues: “this painting is beautiful. And since I have four daughters, it reminds me of the simplicity and beauty that women have.” “The Girl in White” is on view at The National Gallery of Art in Washington.
The Cultural Officer, Tessa Dikker, prefers “The Irises” by Van Gogh. He painted the Irises in 1889 at an asylum Saint-Rémy in France. He created almost 130 paintings during this time. Within the first week, he began Irises, working from nature in the asylum’s garden. The cropped composition was probably influenced by the decorative patterning of Japanese woodblock prints. As Tessa says, “this work is just remarkably beautiful. The bright colors are mesmerising”. The painting is on view at The Getty Museum.