After seeing the Australian National Gallery’s recent exhibition’s collection from London, called ‘Botticelli to Van Gogh’ in the nation’s capital yesterday. My father told me an interesting story that he encountered as a young artist during his time in art school in Belgrade, Serbia in 1964/65.
Its’ been 57 years since my father saw the iconic ‘Sunflowers’ 1888 by the dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh.
He said: ‘ We went with the entire art school including the staff and students to see the exhibition of Vincent Van Gogh in Belgrade. The gallery that the paintings were held in, was not very big. But the line of people that were waiting to see the exhibition was what I remember, one kilometre long.
We had to wait one and half hours to get in. This reminded me of what we did today at the National gallery waiting for an hour to see todays exhibition. It was a similar experience.
What I witnessed in 1964 was one of the most interesting and exciting exhibitions that I had ever seen, and one that I will probably never see anything like again. All in one place, almost, almost, I don’t think every Vincent Van Gogh painting was there…, but it was full of his work.
What I can remember, it was a visual feast of Vincent Van Gogh. We saw the sunflowers like the one we saw today and many others. The size of the paintings were not very large. In those days painters didn’t have large canvas.“
So in 2021, in covid times it’s been 133 years since the paining of ‘Sunflowers' was painted. And in Van Gogh’s life time he had never sold one artwork. I’m sure if we could only see how popular and how excited people from all over the world are to see his works, even if its one of his pieces to come to Australia, he would be a very proud artist indeed.
What I can remember, it was a visual feast of Vincent Van Gogh
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