If you’re thinking about where to go in Dubai or Abu Dhabi this weekend or thinking of new places to visit in the UAE, tickets for Van Gogh Alive at Abu Dhabi National Theatre are now available until February 26th and from March 11th – April 23rd at Dubai Design District .
Combining a specially chosen score of classical music with over 3,000 images, you’ll see some of the artist’s most famous paintings as well as other inspirational images displayed on the walls, floor and ceiling of the exhibition using 40 high-definition projectors – it’s one of the best places to visit in the UAEand one for anyone who’s travel planning in Dubai or Abu Dhabi!
With the arrival of Van Gogh Alive in the UAE, we’ve put together the top ten works from the man himself:
1: Sunflowers: The title of two series of paintings Van Gogh created in late 1888 and 1889, they are among some of the artist’s most recognizable, and reproduced, works. Featuring seven works in total, the paintings were praised for the range of yellows used to capture the variations in colour and tone of the sunflowers.
2: Self-Portrait, September, 1889. The last of Van Gogh’s many self-portraits, this may be his most famous. Showing the artist wearing a blue suit with white undershirt, his striking red beard and hair is contrasted against the swirling blue brush strokes of the background. It hangs in the Musee d’Oray in Paris.
3: The Starry Night, 1889: Created when the artist was a patient at an asylum at Saint-Remy-de-Provence, the painting is one Van Gogh’s most famous landscape works. Featuring swirls of stars in the night sky over a village, Van Gogh painted around 20 different versions of the scene. ‘The Starry Night’ can be viewed as part of the permanent collection at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
4: Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe, 1889. As well as his talent as an artist, Van Gogh is well known for an act of self-mutilation in which he cut off part of his right ear. In this self-portrait, the artist can be seen wearing a blue cap and green coat. The bandage over his ear is the result of his slicing off his right earlobe, which he famously presented to a prostitute named Rachel. It currently hangs in London’s The Courtauld Gallery.
5: Bedroom in Arles, 1888. The title refers to a series of three works created between 1888 and 1889 that depict the artist’s bedroom. Although similar, it is possible to tell the paintings apart from the pictures on the wall on the right. In 2016, the Art Institute of Chicago bought all three versions, displaying them to the public together for the first time.
6: Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888. In this landscape, Van Gogh captures both the reflections of street lamps and the shimmering water of the river Rhone. The artist took inspiration from the challenges painting at night presented. This painting was first exhibited a year before Van Gogh’s death and is now displayed at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.
7: Wheatfield with Crows, 1890: While the debate rages as to whether or not this was Van Gogh’s final painting, his depiction of a wheat field under a dramatic and dark sky is one of a number of paintings showing the artist’s appreciation of nature and the people who worked the land. It can be seen at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
8: Road with Cyprees and Stars, 1890: Analyzed by art critics as a reflection of Van Gogh’s feeling that he was soon to die, the work would be his final painting from his time in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France. The artist himself compared the painting to ‘Christ in the Garden of Olives’ by his friend Paul Gauguin. It is on display in the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo in Holland.
9: The Night Café, 1888. This oil painting depicts the Café de la Gare, compete with five customers slumped around the room and an idle billiards table. This work is notable for the way the oil paint was thickly applied and its downward perspective. It is currently displayed at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut.
10: Self-portrait with Straw Hat, 1887: In this painting, Van Gogh depicted himself dressed in summer clothes, his one green and one blue eye examining the viewer. Painted on cardboard instead of canvas, the artist used dashes of colour to highlight the detail of his beard and straw hat. This famous self-portrait is displayed at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
When: Abu Dhabi, 14th January - 26th February. Dubai, 11th March - 23rd April
Where: Abu Dhabi National Theatre and Dubai Design District
Purchase tickets through: Platinum List, Virgin Megastore, Dubai Calendar app