Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources

This exhibition seeks to immerse viewers in the visual imagination of one of the most beloved artists in the world. By presenting around 15 works of art by Van Gogh alongside more than 125 works of art selected to reflect the surprisingly varied art that he most admired, the show firmly reconnects Vincent to his late 19th-century context. Artists amply represented in the show include Jean Béraud, Jules Breton, George Boughton, Adolphe Monticelli, Léon-Augustin Lhermitte, Georges Michel, Alfred Stevens, James Tissot, and a host of other names less familiar to most American audiences, as well as the better known Romantic master Eugène Delacroix, the artists of the Barbizon school and the celebrated Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, including Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin. By juxtaposing celebrated works of art by Van Gogh with works by the many artists he admired, the show seeks to foreground both Vincent’s indebtedness to and radical departure from the art world of his day. The exhibition also taps into Van Gogh’s literary imagination by displaying first-editions of novels by Honoré de Balzac, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant, and Emile Zola to conjure up the fictional worlds that enflamed Vincent’s inner eye.

Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources is the inaugural exhibition of SBMA’s newly renovated exhibition spaces. After it closes in Santa Barbara, the exhibition travels to the Columbus Museum of Art where it will be on view from February 5 through May 2, 2021. 

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