Making
Van Gogh
A German Love Story 10/23/2019–2/16/2020

He’s one of the most famous painters in history. His forceful brushstrokes and maverick painterly style are unmistakable: Vincent van Gogh! During his lifetime, however, he was roundly derided, appreciated by only the very few. How exactly did this artist go from being, at best, an ‘artist’s artist’ to such a crowd-puller?

Faster than in France, […] faster even than in his native country […] was Van Gogh’s conquest of Germany.

Julius Meier-Graefe Über Vincent van Gogh, in: Sozialistische Monatshefte, 10, 2, 1906

With a string of key works and by revealing some surprising historical connections, the exhibition at the Städel Museum illuminates Van Gogh’s posthumous rise to fame in Germany in the early years of the 20th century. Gallery owners, collectors, and museum directors were pivotal in making his painting more widely known. At the same time, the young artists of German Expressionism embraced Van Gogh as their great role model. The comprehensive show at the Städel Museum examines the myth surrounding the man, his unique handling of paint, and his impact as a trail-blazing pioneer of modernism.