“They will surely recognise me and write about me when I’m dead and gone. I shall take care of that, if I can keep alive for some little time.”
As we honour the memory of one of the greatest Impressionists ever known on his 125th death anniversary, we revere not only the artist and painter but the man himself even as we recall his prophetic words.
Though the world lost a creative genius when he committed suicide on July 29, 1890 at the age of 37, in the French town of Auvers-sur-Oise, Vincent van Gogh left behind an enduring legacy, one that has inspired generations and will continue to do so long into the future. Today, the world paid homage to his memory by holding exhibitions and workshops centred around some of his best known works.
While his descendants laid sunflowers (in honour of his famous Sunflowers series of paintings) on his grave in Auvers-sur-Oise, Amsterdam celebrated his life by re-creating a life-sized self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh with over 50,000 dahlias, flowers being one of Van Gogh’s favourite subjects.
Another tribute in Amsterdam is a bike path that uses beautifully arranged lights to recreate one of his most famous paintings – ‘Starry Night’ while Nuenen in the Netherlands (Van Gogh lived there in 1883) offers the charm of a Starry Night recreation on a cycle trail by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde.
Art Lovers can also go the Amsterdam based Van Gogh Museum to view one of the largest collections of his work including paintings such as “Sunflowers” (1889) and “Irises” (1890). The Museum is organizing an exhibition from on 25 September, 2015 to 17 January, 2016 titled “Munch: Van Gogh.” Then there is the Kröller-Müller Museum in Netherlands, housing the second largest collection of Van Gogh paintings including the “The Sower” (1888). Arles, France, where he moved in 1888, pays homage to the great artist with The Fondation Vincent Van Gogh gallery at the Léautaud de Donines hotel. One of his final works, “Rain-Auvers” (1890), created in Auvers-sur-Oise just a few days before his untimely death now hangs at the Cardiff National Museum of Wales.
The village of Auvers-sur-Oise is also organizing tours of locations where the famous Dutch painter spent his last days. Incidentally Van Gogh, born in Netherlands, spent time in Netherlands, Belgium, the UK and France and all these places have offered up locations that inspired some of his best creations. Mons, a location in Beligium near the mining region on Borinage where Van Gogh first realized his dream of becoming an artist, is organizing a number of Van Gogh-inspired events. Maison Denis at Colfontaine is also another site to visit as it was one of two houses occupied by Van Gogh during his time there.
Apart from the French village of Auvers-sur-Oise where he dies, the last site to visit is the Saint-Paul de Mausole in St Rémy-de-Provence where Van Gogh resided in 1889 and spent a year producing some of the most creative works. Here in his room at the 11th Century abbey, are displayed 21 reproductions of his paintings created there.