Seventy paintings by Vincent van Gogh that rarely leave his native Holland, including some never seen in this country, will be shown in Washington and Los Angeles this year and next.
They come from the collection started by his brother Theo and now housed in Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, which has over 700 of his works and is closing for renovation.
“Van Gogh’s Van Goghs” will cover the whole career of the painter, who killed himself at 37 after committing himself for a year to a French insane asylum. He had moved to the town of Autry to be under the care of Dr. Paul Gachet, whose portrait by van Gogh sold in 1990 for a record $82.5 million. The artist managed to sell only one painting during his lifetime.
Among the works to make their first American appearance is one of the earliest, “Scheveningen Beach in Stormy Weather,” painted when he was 29, about the time of an unhappy love affair with an alcoholic prostitute. Also unseen here before include a painting of the head of a peasant woman and “Flying Fox,” both done a few years later.
They come from the period of the more famous “Potato Eaters,” also in the show, when van Gogh was painting in a somber style unlike the brilliantly colored work he did after seeing impressionist pictures in Paris.
In his last five years, van Gogh completed more than 800 paintings.
The exhibit will be at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, where admission is free, from Oct. 4 to Jan. 3, 1999, and then at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Jan. 17-April 4, 1999.