All Van Gogh online. Dutch museums launch largest database of the artist.

Launched in the Netherlands the Van Gogh Worldwide project, the largest digital database of the artist: 1,000 works surveyed with detailed information and in high resolution.

All Van Gogh online: The two museums that hold the two most important nuclei of works by Vincent van Gogh (Zundert, 1853 - Auvers-sur-Oise, 1890), namely the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Kröller Müller Museum in Otterlo, are teaming up together with the RKD (the Netherlands Institute of Art History) and launching the Van Gogh Worldwide project, a high-profile scholarly and scientific platform that combines art-historical information, technical information, and the highest quality images of Van Gogh’s works.

Van Gogh Worldwide is a large database created thanks in part to the contribution of public and private partners, as well as research institutions, and brings online more than a thousand Van Gogh works preserved in the Netherlands, including paintings and drawings. Many details are provided for each work (provenance, exhibition history, references in the artist’s letters and scientific literature, technical information). One of the main special features lies precisely in the links to Van Gogh’s letters, which are essential for understanding his art. In addition, each image has been captured in high resolution and can therefore be analyzed in all individual details. And for some works, images of the back of the canvas and grazing light photographs are even available to better appreciate Van Gogh’s textural brushwork. The website at the moment is in English and Dutch, and also provides a search engine also indexed with the painter’s catalog raisonné numbers. The search also can be conducted by category, by subject, by material, and by date.

The database was built according to the guidelines of the Netwerk Digitaal Erfgoed (the Dutch Digital Heritage Network): this means that any incoming information from different sources is published in the form of links, which facilitates the updating of data and ensures that users always have an up-to-date and reliable product. The project promoters also point out that Van Gogh Worldwide is the first platform in the museum and cultural sector to publish data according to the Linked Art model, an open data model created specifically to describe artistic objects.

The project does not end there: the goal is to include all of Van Gogh’s works in the database. The second phase, which will cover the inclusion of works in collections outside the Netherlands, will begin in 2021. Currently, about two thousand works produced by Van G ogh are known, and Van Gogh Worldwide (also up to the title of the project) intends to map them all.

For anyone wishing to browse Van Gogh’s works, the site to visit is

Image: Vincent van Gogh (October 1888; oil on canvas, 72.4 x 91.3 cm; Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum)

All Van Gogh online. Dutch museums launch largest database of the artist.
All Van Gogh online. Dutch museums launch largest database of the artist.

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