264. Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum was probably one of my favourite art museums. Not only did the audioguide (definitely recommended) walk me through his life via his paintings, but the curators also had a wonderful collection of art that influenced him, among other special collections.

My favourite of Van Gogh’s works was Sunflowers, possibly because its vibrant colours really stood out compared to the opposite wall, which housed paintings from nearer to his death, as his mental illness was affecting him more and more (hint: they are kind of gloomy).

It was also interesting to note that he would never have been as famous as he is today, if it weren’t for his brother’s wife, who inherited his collection and boosted it to fame.

Another highlight of the museum was a collection of advertising prints from France in the late 1800s and early 1900s, as well as art featured on programmes from stage shows and the covers of sheet music.

All in all a great way to learn about Van Gogh’s life, as it was narrated through his art, as well as his influences and the art that was incorporated in to daily life at the time. Well worth a visit!

245. Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna

The┬áKunsthistorisches Museum (“Museum of Art History”) in Vienna, was (at the time) the largest collection of famous works of art I had ever seen. It was later overshadowed by the Louvre, but I found this one much more engaging and manageable. It also happens to be in a fabulously glorious building.

It is currently showing the Klimt Bridge, a bridge assembled to give an up close view of Gustav Klimt’s paintings which were glued to the walls in the spaces between the columns and above the arcades in the main staircase in 1891.

It was really fascinating to see the works up close of so many famous artists (Rubens, Raphael, Rembrandt, and that’s just the R’s), but one of my favourite paintings was this one – a somewhat fantastical depiction of an artists studio, which actually bore quite the resemblance to the museum itself – there were just so many paintings occupying every space of wall possible it was hard to take them all in and not be slightly overwhelmed.

I also had a shamelessly uneducated moment as I thought to myself “oh I recognise that one”…

… and realised it was from the opening sequence of Desperate Housewives. Note to self: more learning, less TV watching.