Florida,  United States

Beyond Van Gogh-Pensacola, Florida

This past weekend we took a road trip to Pensacola, Florida, to visit the Beyond Van Gogh presentation and exhibit. It was an immersive experience that takes you into the artist’s mind. The presentation begins with letters written between two brothers. The artist Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo. We found the letters to be as much of a work of art as the artist’s paintings. Not only touching but also a wonderful display of brotherly love between two siblings. Vincent’s life had plenty of ups and downs, but he could always count on the support of his younger brother Theo. It was Theo who advised Vincent to become an artist and supported him financially. When things got tough, it was Theo at his side.

Of course, one of our favorite paintings is The Starry Night. It is an oil-on-canvas painting by the Dutch Post-Impressionist. Painted in June 1889, it depicts the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, just before sunrise, with the addition of an imaginary village. The Starry Night is one of the most recognizable paintings in Western art. Click here if you would like to learn more about this painting. Other images that captured our attention were Starry Night over Rhone and The Café Terrace.

Van Gogh was so poor that he painted mostly landscapes because he could not afford to pay for models. It was interesting to see the ones that he painted. They were usually people that were close to him, his friends, family, or others that might agree to sit for no fee. His self-portraits were equally interesting, and they almost came alive at the exhibit. He painted himself in different ways. With different hats and while holding his brushes. Beard and no beard. We found the exhibit magical. A different way to view art other than the local museum. Here we really came to appreciate the artist even more than just viewing an image on a museum wall.

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