Exhibition featuring Albricht Art Gallery painting

Van Gogh’s work back in his birthplace, after half a century

Vincent van Gogh, New Church and old houses in The Hague, 1883, oil on canvas/panel, 35.5 x 26.2 cm, Albricht Art Gallery Oosterbeek collection

 

After more than half a century, a genuine Van Gogh painting can once again be seen in Zundert, Van Gogh’s birthplace. The Vincent van Gogh Huis (House) will be exhibiting The New Church and old houses in The Hague (1883) from 21 December 2016 to 29 January 2017. The work, which has a special Christmas message, has been loaned by the Albricht Art Gallery in Oosterbeek.

The museum in Zundert is delighted by this opportunity. The last time that any of Van Gogh’s original works were on show in his birthplace was in 1964, on the occasion of the unveiling of the Van Gogh monument by Ossip Zadkine. Then, as in his centenary year of 1953, an exhibition was staged with works loaned by the Van Gogh family. That has not been possible ever since, but it has remained a cherished dream that the museum, which opened in 2008 on the spot where he was born, should display one of Van Gogh’s works from time to time. Thanks to the loan from the Albricht Art Gallery, this has now become possible for the first time.

Bob Albricht purchased the painting recently from the estate of a private collector in France. It is an early painting from Van Gogh’s period in The Hague with a row of workers’ cottages in the front. The New Church is visible behind the cottages.

Christmas

This old protestant church may have had a special meaning for Van Gogh. Vincent was after all the son of a preacher and was a believer himself. He doubtless attended services in this church during his stay in The Hague so it wasn’t just a coincidence that he chose to paint it, it was symbolic of his father’s world. The combination of God’s house as a subject with the dwellings of humble people in front of it, was an expression of his social conscience in relation to his father’s faith. The painting is therefore much more than simply a topographical representation. It carries a message in the spirit of Christmas. Christmas was a special time for the Van Gogh family which they preferably spent altogether at home. For this reason, it is especially appropriate that this significant work is coming back to the house in Zundert over the Christmas period.

Origin

Van Gogh kept this canvas until his Nuenen period in Brabant. It remained there after he left for Antwerp. His mother had the collection sent from his studio to Breda, where it disappeared. The works from his Dutch period, that were later recovered, were sold on the advice of Van Gogh expert Hendrik Bremmer via Oldenzeel Art Dealers in Rotterdam. The New Church and old houses in The Hague (1883) painting was then acquired by the rich

collector Jan Smit from Alblasserdam. His heirs had it auctioned in Paris in 1970. It then went back into private ownership and for this reason the work has rarely been seen in public.

Van Gogh in Brabant

The Vincent van Gogh Huis is located where Zundert’s most famous artist was born. The museum forms part of the Van Gogh Brabant consortium; five organisations (Van Gogh Village in Nuenen, Vincent’s Art Room in Tilburg, the Van Gogh Church in Etten-Leur, the Vincent van Gogh Huis in Zundert and the Noordbrabants Museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch) have joined forces to preserve and share the cultural heritage of Van Gogh in Brabant. In addition to this, there is collaboration known as Van Gogh Europe. This is an international partnership between various organisations in Holland, Belgium and France and it is committed to the preservation and joint promotion of Van Gogh’s heritage.

Van Gogh Returns Home exhibition
Dates of exhibition: 21 December 2016 – 29 January 2017
Open: Wed-Fri 10:00 -17:00 | Sat-Sun 12:00 -17:00
(closed Christmas Day 25/12, open Boxing Day 26/12 12:00 – 17:00)

Vincent van Gogh Huis, Markt 26-27, 4881 CN Zundert, Netherlands
www.vangoghhuis.com

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