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Van Gogh Takes the Capital

Vincent van Gogh, Almond Blossom, 1890, oil on canvas, 73.5 x 92 cm. Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)


From “The Starry Night” to “Sunflowers,” the artwork of Vincent van Gogh is known the world over. This May, the artist’s paintings are heading to Ottawa for the first major exhibition of his work in Canada in more than 25 years.

Vincent van Gogh, Iris, 1889, oil on thinned cardboard, mounted on canvas 62.2 x 48.3 cm. National Gallery of Canada Photo © NGC

Entitled “Van Gogh: Up Close,” this exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada offers the opportunity to see the Dutch artist’s work in person at the show’s only Canadian venue. Running from May 25 to Sept. 3, the exhibition will highlight more than 40 paintings from private and public collections around the world, as well as a selection of Japanese woodblock prints, 19th century photographs, and works on paper — many of which have rarely been shown publicly. The exhibition will delve into Van Gogh’s love of nature and his incredible talent for interpreting the world around him and creating something beautiful in response. You will see how the painter often departed from traditional painting techniques, opting instead for bright colours, modernized brushstroke, and experimentation with depth of field and focus that brought subjects into the foreground (or “up close”). The works he created before his death at just 37 years old ranged from still lifes to portraits to landscapes, and changed the course of modern painting forever.

Tickets $25; seniors: $22; students: $15; youths (12 to 19): $10. 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985.

In conjunction with this spectacular exhibit, the gallery will be offering an abundance of unique programming throughout the summer that includes audio guides, guided tours, a lecture series, an opportunity to meet the curators, art-making activities for kids, and more. One highlight is a six-film series that includes Vincent Van Gogh – Painted with Words, which is a BBC production that chronicles the artist’s life through letters to his brother.

Photo © Camera Lucida

Along with the film series offered at the gallery, you can also check out Van Gogh: Brush with Genius at the IMAX, located at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. This whimsical film, which retraces the artist’s life through letters and the locations that inspired him, will come to life through the theatre’s seven-storey-high screen and state of the art sound system. $11; seniors and students: $9; children (three to 12): $7.
100, rue, Laurier, Gatineau, 819-776-7000.

Art and food combine at Le Cordon Bleu Bistro @ Signatures. In honour of the Van Gogh exhibit, the famed culinary school’s accompanying restaurant will feature a four-course dining experience and wine pairing that is inspired by the artist and his works. Available Wednesday through Friday for the duration of the exhibition.
453 Laurier Ave. E., 613-236-2499.

After you explore the exhibition, stop by the Bookstore at the National Gallery of Canada for an artsy souvenir. Products include playing cards, books, jewellery, tote bags, umbrellas, and more, all decorated with images of Van Gogh’s iconic paintings.

For more information, and to buy tickets, see www.gallery.ca/vangogh

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