Rain in slashes – Zandvliet \\ Van Gogh

Robert Zandvliet, Regen in Auvers - Rain in Auvers

29 March _ 7 September 2015

Robert Zandvliet (Terband, 1970) is one of the most leading Dutch contemporary artists. He continues in the tradition of painters like Vincent van Gogh and Willem de Kooning. He is one of the very few who has dared to take up the challenge of using works of his famous predecessors in order to create new (contemporary) paintings. He did this with Van Gogh’s latest canvases Tree roots and Wheatfield with crows, among others.

For a long time Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with crows was considered to have been his latest painting, made shortly before he shot himself in the chest. It depicts the wheat fields near Auvers-sur-Oise with flying crows. Zandvliet used this subject twice as starting point for a couple of large paintings. In preparation he made quite a large number of preliminary sketches in pencil and pastel. These preliminary sketches are presented for the first time at the exhibition in the Vincent van GoghHuis on the occasion of the Van Gogh Year 2015, its theme being ‘125 years of inspiration’.

There is another painting from Van Gogh’s latest period which fascinates Zandvliet: Rain in Auvers. This is – just like Tree roots and Wheatfield with crows – a painting with a panoramic view. Zandvliet has created an interpretation of this work in large dimensions (450 x 144 cm) especially for the exhibition in the Vincent van GoghHuis. The rain effect in particular turned out to be an artistic challenge. Initially Van Gogh was inspired by Japanese prints (Hiroshige) when he started to depict rain. Later on the ‘rain slashes’ not only proved to be a technical challenge, but also an expression of his temperament and perhaps even a melancholic longing for his native country. In choosing exactly this painting Zandvliet stresses the fact that he is able to fathom Van Gogh’s work and soul.

Sponsored by Fonds 21, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stichting Gifted Art and Drukkerij Vorsselmans