October 12, 2005

Van Gogh drawings to be exhibited

By Ilaina Jonas

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Vincent van Gogh's paintings have a
universal appeal, but curators at The Metropolitan Museum of
Art hope it will be his drawings that will take New York's
breath away.

The largest collection of the Dutch Impressionist's
drawings ever shown outside the Netherlands will go on display
at the museum next Tuesday.

"Van Gogh's drawings have curiously escaped the fame that
has been attached to his painting, in part because they are
rarely exhibited," said Susan Stein, one of the two curators of
the exhibit, "Vincent van Gogh: The Drawings."

"He found a means of using line to make his works in black
and white as powerful as his works in color," she said.
"Viewers will be surprised by the scale and size of his some of
his works. Certainly, they were as powerful as his paintings."

Stein and co-curator Colta Ives worked for three years,
assembling the 113 drawings from more than 50 private and
public collections. Some of the drawings will be displayed with
paintings they may be related to, the curators said.

The largely self-taught Van Gogh's career lasted only 10
years, but he produced 800 paintings, some of the most famous
being "Starry Night" and "Sunflowers."

He also made more than 1,100 drawings, some of which were
done after finishing his paintings as a way for him to comment
on them. Other drawings were done as separate works and were
never committed to paint nor canvas.

Van Gogh also included drawings in letters to his brother,
Theo, who supported him, and to other artists to keep them
informed of his work.

The exhibition traces Van Gogh's career as a draftsman,
first in the Netherlands and then in France. He sometimes drew
when money was scarce, while waiting for supplies from Paris or
when winds made it impossible to set up an easel, Stein said.