Van Goghs seascape


Following the visit to the Van Gogh Museum
Acrylic on wood 70 x 60 cm
Following the visit to the Van Gogh museum. It has changed here. In 1989 I lived in Amsterdam and together with Douwe-Jan Wiersma spent three years creating a feature film, ‘Plato’s Cave’. The discovery of a painting, apparently by Van Gogh, is the highlight of the film, which changes from black and white into colour after about an hour. The first colour view is a long camera shot along the white wall at the Van Gogh Museum. A series of fifteen or so van Goghs pass before the lens. Portraits, flowers and a drawbridge. After the fishing boats on the beach at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the actors come onto the scene. Between them hangs the seascape that was still in the ‘Rust Wat’ Café in Sint Pancras (NL) at the beginning of the film. The director says, "Can’t you take a more famous Van Gogh? He did not paint so many seascapes." I take it as a compliment. The museum was empty on the morning of the shooting, a stark contrast with now. Through a back entrance, we can take our filming equipment in the service lift. The alarm is turned off so that we can hang our painting undisturbed at the scene next to the fishing boats. After the shoot, we hang everything neatly back up, and leave with the same service lift. From the moment the employee of the museum disables the alarm, we see no one, not even when we leave with our equipment on a cart, together with the painting. I still do not understand why there has never been any research about us, since in the same week a van Gogh art theft was reported in the national press. Around this time, between May 1988 and April 1991, about 620 million Euros in stolen van Goghs were reported from the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Kröller Müller. Most of it has been recovered, often damaged. This period caused a lot of interest in Van Gogh, because it was a hundred years after his death.
Photo 2:Waiting at the entrance of the van Gogh Museum
Photo 3: Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mere, Vincent van Gogh 1888