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Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen buys Vincent van Gogh's Still life with potatoes

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has proudly acquired Vincent van Gogh's Still Life with Potatoes (Paris, winter 1886-87).

Vincent van Gogh painted his Still Life with Potatoes in Paris, after studying for a short period at the art academy in Antwerp in 1885. Whereas at home in Brabant he still painted very darkly - think of The potato eaters - in France he was inspired to work with a full colour palette. Still life with potatoes catches him in the middle of that transformation. The work is already less sombre in tone and is quite expressive. To his brother Theo, he wrote that he wanted to depict potatoes and their texture in such a way that they would come across as chunky and gnarly as in real life. He wanted to convey the feeling that they could be thrown at your head.

Pivotal point in development

Ina Klaassen, director Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, says: ''The 'Potatoes' are a pivotal point in Vincent van Gogh's development: from the dark paintings of Brabant to the splashes of colour painted in France.''

The painting had been present in the MBVB collection as a loan for over 40 years. The risk of a loan - especially with a celebrity like Vincent van Gogh - is that the work could be reclaimed or sold, possibly abroad. The purchase, with support from the Rembrandt Association, the Mondriaan Fund, the Friends Lottery, private donors, companies and bequests, ensures that this Van Gogh will be preserved for the Netherlands Collection. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen now owns seven paintings by Vincent van Gogh.

Cover: Vincent van Gogh - Still life with potatoes (1886-87) Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Donation private collection. Acquisition with support from Vereniging Rembrandt (thanks in part to its Dura Kunstfonds, its Gisbert van Laack Fonds, its Themafonds 19th-century painting fund and the annual contribution from the Culture Fund), Museaal Aankoopfonds, Mondriaan Fonds, Kring Van Eyck, Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Boijmans Business Club and Boijmans Corporate Members, VriendenLoterij, Bruynzeel, various private donors and funds from the estate of Mrs N.C. Van Riemsdijk-Borsje.

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