When I was in kindergarten, my dream was to become an artist. I loved to draw - all over my clothes and the floor and even my face. When I learned about Van Gogh in my kindergarten art class, I became enamored. Even as a five year old, I dreamed about the countries in which he lived. I never questioned why he cut off his ear, and I never seemed to second guess all his mental instability... probably because I was a five year old... but nonetheless, I aspired to paint pieces as beautiful as his.
I have not yet had the chance to see an actual work of art by Vincent Van Gogh. Being in Rome, I could not pass up the opportunity to see this truly enchanting art exhibit. It has given me even more of a desire to see some of Van Gogh's work in person. Perhaps I will begin planning a trip to Van Gogh Museum in Saint-Remy, France soon. Some of my favorite paintings displayed include Cafe Terrace at Night (1888), Irises (1889), Almond Blossoms (1890), and Sunflowers (1887).
What to Expect
Upon entry, you're transported into a dim room with three of Van Gogh's most famous works of art on one wall. Directly opposite this wall is a life sized replica of the Bedroom in Arles (1888).
The following hallway projects three more works of art onto one wall. The slideshow is animated, so the flower pedals in Almond Blossoms being to fall and the stars in Starry Night Over the Rhone actually glisten as they reflect into the water. While it doesn't sound too impressive just to look at a bunch of projections, they are made in hyper-fine detail, so it looks almost as if the paint has been brushed across the screen by Van Gogh himself.
Walk through the hallway and you'll find yourself immersed in an even darker room filled with screens projecting Van Gogh's life story through his artwork. The exhibit begins with Van Gogh's artwork from 1880 while he was living in the Netherlands.
The slideshow proceeds to display all the works created while he lived in Paris, France, followed by Provence, France, and until his death in Arles, France in 1890. Viewers also see a few hand written letters, which some consider to be works of art themselves, as they have small sketches of future projects on the paper.
By only showing art from 1880 to 1890 seems like a rather limited exhibit, but Van Gogh was in fact painting about one work of art each day during the last two months or so of his life. During his time, Van Gogh was not appreciated, but what makes his paintings so unique is his talent for using colors to express the mood.
Here's a sneaky little trick: just skip the first big room and walk right into the next room. It seemed that everyone was staying in the first room to watch the slideshow, but the second one is much less crowded and shows the exact same 30 minute production.
The exhibit has been open since October 26, 2016 and is supposed to stay open for at least three months. If you're visiting Rome any time during the remainder of 2016, I recommend taking half an hour out of your day to visit.
If you take the 8 tram, stop at "Instruzione" and walk south about 30 yards, you'll find the entrance of the Palazzo degli Esami.
The entrance fee is 12 euros if you are a student, 15 euros regular.
For more information, visit the official website here.