2015 marks the 125th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh’s death (1853-1890). In commemoration of the painter’s life, a host of activities are taking place at over 30 locations across the Netherlands, UK, Belgium and France under the banner, ‘Van Gogh 2015: 125 years of inspiration’.
Among the participating institutions, the Dutch Museum of Lithography (Nederlands Steendrukmuseum) in Valkenswaard is hosting the exhibition 'Vincent van Gogh, the Graphic Artist', which runs between 9th May and 4th October 2015. The focus of the exhibition is Van Gogh’s under-exposed lithography work, and his keen interest in ‘the art of black & white.’
In addition to Van Gogh’s lithography pieces, the exhibition will also cover a number of surrounding themes, including Van Gogh the collector, his ambition to be a magazine illustrator and desire to become printmaker for the people, Van Gogh as his own advertising and his graphic experiments. These themes will introduce visitors to the museum to the lesser-known facets of the famous painter. One Van Gogh piece in particular will receive special attention: lithograph ‘The Potato Eaters’ was first printed in April 1885 by the printing company Gestel & Zn in Eindhoven.
Lithograph ‘The Potato Eaters’ to be reprinted on 16th April - 130 years on
Vincent produced this litho prior to finalising the homonymous well-known painting, which would later become his first real masterpiece. As part of the exhibition, the Dutch Lithography Museum (Steendrukmuseum) will also be reprinting the ‘The Potato Eaters’ litho in collaboration with master lithographer, Gertjan Forrer. A small run of the print will be produced at the museum using an authentic lithography press from Van Gogh’s era. All of the processes involved in creating the original print will be re-enacted with meticulous precision, 130 years later.
Op 16th April at 11am, Chair of the Van Gogh Foundation, Jantine van Gogh and Commissioner of Culture for the province of North-Brabant, Brigitte van Haaften will use the hand press to print the first copy of the litho as part of a celebratory event. This very special museum reprint and accompanying DVD will be available from the museum shop from 9th May.