‘Crucial’ Van Gogh watercolour bought by museum

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has bought the watercolour Pollard Willow by Vincent van Gogh.

‘This specific work was on the museum’s wish list as a major potential purchase, because it is one of the most representative watercolours from Van Gogh’s period in The Hague, and until now, there was a gap in our collection here,’ said museum director Axel Rüger.
The painting shows a path along a canal with a pollard willows. In the background are the buildings of the depot at the former Rijnspoor railway station. Van Gogh wrote about the painting in a letter to his brother Theo, describing it as ‘a sombre landscape’.
‘That dead tree beside a stagnant pond covered in duckweed, in the distance a Rijnspoor depot where railway lines cross, smoke-blackened buildings — also green meadows, a cinder road and a sky in which the clouds are racing, grey with an occasional gleaming white edge, and a depth of blue where the clouds tear apart for a moment,’ Van Gogh wrote.
The painting was in private hands, but the museum statement did not say who the previous owner was or how much it paid.

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