Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen buys Van Gogh’s STILL LIFE WITH POTATOES

Vincent van Gogh, Still Life with Potatoes (1886-87). See below for full details

Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is proud to announce that it has acquired Still Life with Potatoes (Paris, winter 1886-87) by Vincent van Gogh. The painting was presented today (11th March 2024) in the presence of the museum’s director and various funding organisations.

The “Potatoes” are a pivotal point in Van Gogh’s development: from the dark Brabant paintings to the splendidly colourful works he painted in France. Ina Klaassen, Director of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Unique opportunity for the National Art Collection

The painting has been on loan to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen for more than forty years. The risk with a long-term loan – especially with such a big name as Vincent van Gogh – is that the owner will request its return or sell it, possibly abroad. This purchase ensures that this Van Gogh painting will be preserved for the National Art Collection. This acquisition would not have been made possible without the generous support of the Rembrandt Association, the Mondriaan Fund, the VriendenLoterij, private donors, companies and bequests. The museum thanks them all for their crucial support.

Still Life with Potatoes

Vincent van Gogh painted Still Life with Potatoes in Paris, after studying for a short period at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 1885. While his paintings in his native Brabant – such as The Potato Eaters – had a dark, restricted palette, in France he was inspired to make brightly coloured works. Still Life with Potatoes is a pivotal work in this transition. It is less sombre in tone than his Dutch works and is very expressive. He wrote to his brother Theo about painting and depicting potatoes. Van Gogh said that he wanted to depict the potatoes in such a way that they would appear as in real life. He wanted to give the impression that you could throw them.

Full credits

Vincent van Gogh, Still Life with Potatoes (1886-87). Collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Gift from a private collection. Purchase with support from the Rembrandt Association (thanks in part to the Dura Kunstfonds, the Gisbert van Laack Fonds, the 19th-Century Painting Fund and the annual contribution from the Cultuurfonds), the Nationaal Museaal Aankoopfonds, the Mondriaan Fund, the Van Eyck Circle, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation, Boijmans Business Club and Boijmans Corporate Members, the VriendenLoterij, Bruynzeel, various private and corporate donors and funds from the estate of Mrs N.C. Van Riemsdijk-Borsje.