Vincent van Gogh Pipe Smoking Exhibit in Amsterdam

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Via Press Release
"Vincent’s passion for pipe smoking" is a new exhibit at the Amsterdam Pipe Museum that presents the pipes that Vincent van Gogh painted in his portraits and still-life paintings. Six of his self portraits with a pipe show how affectionate Van Gogh was about his pipe smoking.

The smoking pipe in Vincent’s time
The museum has retrieved the pipes of no less than sixteen portraits and still-life paintings in the oeuvre of the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. The rich collection of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum offers plenty of material. Some are clay pipes that still were in general use in the 1880’s. Others are the modern cherry wood pipes, popular at that time in France. Only in the latest years of his life Vincent smoked the briar pipe, the kind of pipes still in use today.

New theme
Vincent van Gogh may be one of the best researched artists in the world, his tobacco pipes didn’t attract any attention so far. Art historians generally don’t know how to deal with this subject. The Amsterdam Pipe Museum is the first in making an exhibition on the pipes and smoking habits of Vincent. Many of Van Gogh’s paintings and lots of his letters show how passionate Vincent was about it. The combination of physical and virtual exhibition of the paintings, the actual pipes and the letters offers a unique insight in this part of Vincent van Gogh’s life.

Web presentation cites his letters
The exhibition is accompanied by a virtual presentation on the website of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum, in which Vincent van Gogh stated how much he enjoyed pipes and tobacco. The pipe is an indication for his state of mind, he only smoked when he was not depressed. Pipe smoking gave Vincent peaceful and pleasurable feelings. In many of his letters to his brother Theo and others Vincent displayed his passion for pipe smoking. Check for the virtual presentation.

Amsterdam Pipe Museum, Prinsengracht 488 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, 
open: Monday through Saturday12AM – 6PM. The exhibition Vincent’s passion for pipe smoking runs from September 25th  to December 12th 2015.

8 Responses

  • I wish I could go, but that’s rather far for an exhibit. I have stacks of books on Van Gogh as I was infatuated with his relationship between this failed artist and his successful brother, Theo. and, his mental illness. In one of the books on his self-portraits it talks a lot about his pipes, but it made no mention of briars. In the details of the pipes I’ve seen in his self-portraits, none really look like briars, especially the one in this photo. But, maybe there is some mention in a letter somewhere that I haven’t seen. I would love to go see this exhibit. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • I have been to Van Gogh Museum few years ago in Netherlands. Such a great artist! I remember seeing his stuff such as brushes, paints, etc. however I don’t remember seeing any of his pipes.

  • Great art from a troubled mind. Not surprising, yet a wonder to behold. One of my favorite pipes is an interpretation by Ser Jacopo — a hawkbill depicted in one of Van Gogh’s works.

  • I love art and have long admired Van Gogh. I’ve seen the bio-pic many times and enjoy it each time.
    Like Cortez, I, too, have two of the Ser Jacopo Picta Van Goghs: O1 and 11. I treasure them and on days I try to paint, I smoke them.

  • Van Gogh and Gougan were friends. They would send each other their versions of a subject. Such as sun flowers. One such exchange was the two chairs. Both painted their chair with a pipe on it.

  • I love his picking up on the way color effects our after images. He was challenged with a troubled mind but his art was truly that of a grand master.