The exhibition Van Gogh & Japan is on view at Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam until 24 /6/2018.
Like Monet and Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) was impressed by Japanese prints which had flooded the European market since the mid nineteenth century. Landscapes, portraits and street scenes inspired him. He was indisputably influenced by the pronounced colours and abstract figures, prominent composition, robust contour lines and motifs abruptly cut off by the edge of the picture.
In the end Japan became a kind of personal ideal for the painter. Sunny southern France was his mirror for Japan, where he found a model for an artisanal alliance with painter colleagues. In 1888 he painted a self-portrait, with a thin face, close-cropped hair and eyes somewhat askance, like a Japanese ascetic. Nevertheless he continued to opt for his own wilful style over the refinement of the Japanese prints.