Van Gogh Museum Unveils New Acquisition of Van Gogh’s ‘Pollard Willow’ Watercolor

Van Gogh Watercolor,  Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands

On Thursday May 10th, The Van Gogh Museum revealed the watercolor, depicting a dead willow, “lonely and melancholy” over a pond near the Hague. In July 26, 1882, Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo that he had to paint it the next morning. The work was purchased at an auction in London earlier this year for $1.9 million.

“For the first time in five years, the Van Gogh Museum has purchased a work by Vincent van Gogh: a watercolour entitled “Pollard willow”. Van Gogh completed the work during the summer of 1882 in The Haque, near his house on the outskirts of the city. The powerful, graphic work shows a pollarded willow tree, a ditch and a rough track, with the Rijnspoor rail depot in the background.”

Director Axel Rueger revealed the painting to the media and said that the painting, filled a gap in the museum’s collection of Van Gogh works.

In the following video curator of prints and drawings Marije Vellekoop explains why this watercolour is a crucial addition to the Van Gogh Museum’s collection .



Marije Vellekoop, the museum's curator of prints and drawings, speaks near an 1882 water color of a pollard willow by Vincent van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands,

“It’s a very elaborate, well done watercolor and that’s quite extraordinary in this period of Van Gogh’s oeuvre,” said Marije Vellekoop, the museum’s curator of prints and drawings. “Out of the blue, in the summer, in July, he makes a series of watercolors … with a lot of detail, but also very painterly, fluent.”



Van Gogh letter to Theo with Pollard Willow sketchA few days after completing the painting, Van Gogh wrote enthusiastically to Theo and he included a sketch of the watercolor.

The letter, on faded brown paper, hangs next to the completed painting in the museum.

In it, Van Gogh says he considers the willow the best of a series of watercolors he painted that summer.




See Video below for introduction of the Van Gogh painting at the Van Gogh Museum.



 About The Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam houses the largest collection of art works by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) in the world. The permanent collection includes more than 200 paintings by Vincent van Gogh, 500 drawings and more than 750 letters. The museum also presents exhibitions on various subjects from 19th-century art history.


Filed under: exhibits