Five Masterpieces on Three Continents United for the First Time Ever on FB

Thursday, August 10, 2017
Five Masterpieces on Three Continents United for the First Time Ever on FB

In 1888-89 in the southern French city of Arles, Vincent van Gogh painted a number of versions of what was to become one of the most famous images in the history of art, his Sunflowers. Today these paintings are located in museums across the globe, but they have never been seen together—until now. On August 14, 2017, for the first time, five versions of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers will be presented in a way the artist could never have imagined.

Five Masterpieces on Three Continents United for the First Time Ever on FB

In 1888-89 in the southern French city of Arles, Vincent van Gogh painted a number of versions of what was to become one of the most famous images in the history of art, his Sunflowers. Today these paintings are located in museums across the globe, but they have never been seen together—until now. On August 14, 2017, for the first time, five versions of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers will be presented in a way the artist could never have imagined. 

The National Gallery (London), Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Neue Pinakothek (Munich), and the Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art (Tokyo) will link up in a unique global collaboration to explore the Sunflowers series, live on Facebook.

Starting at 12:50 p.m. EST, there will be a consecutive relay of five, 15-minute Facebook LIVE broadcasts, beginning with London. Each will take place in front of a different Sunflowerspainting. All will celebrate and explore Vincent van Gogh’s life and work. This is the first time ever that a live Facebook ‘relay’ of this type will take place among different cultural institutions worldwide.

To further unite the paintings, in a way that is impossible in the physical space of a gallery, the five museums worked together with Facebook to create a fully immersive digital exhibition, entitled Sunflowers 360.

Van Gogh Sunflowers Facebook LIVE Running Order - August 14

The Sunflowers series dates from 1888, when Van Gogh left Paris to paint in the brilliant sunshine of the South of France. He rented a house in Arles—‘The Yellow House’—and invited Paul Gauguin to come and join him so the two artists could paint together. Waiting for Gauguin to arrive, Van Gogh painted a series of pictures of sunflowers to decorate his friend’s bedroom. They were meant as a sign of friendship and welcome, but also of Van Gogh's allegiance to Gauguin as his artistic leader.

Image above: Sunflowers, 1888 or 1889. Vincent Willem van Gogh, Dutch, 1853-1890. Oil on canvas, 36 3/8 x 28 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Femme au béret orange et au col de fourrure (Marie‐Thérèse), executed 4 December 1937. Oil on canvas. 24⅛ x 18⅛ in (61.2 x 46.1 cm)

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Femme au béret orange et au col de fourrure (Marie‐Thérèse), executed 4 December 1937. Oil on canvas. 24⅛ x 18⅛ in (61.2 x 46.1 cm)

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