Mediation · Van Gogh: color in relief

A mediation area in the exhibition

A mediation area in the midst of the “Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise” exhibition addresses the question of color – a subject at the heart of Van Gogh’s artistic work and his thoughts on painting – via a range of sensorial experiences in which visitors get to explore the very matter of his works. Visitors can keep these tools and notions in mind to guide their eye in the rest of the exhibition.

Facsimile of The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise in plain white

And what if we removed the colors from a Van Gogh painting? That’s the experience on offer here, with this monochrome reproduction of the famous painting The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise illuminated by grazing light. This plain white replica is accompanied by several focuses on the various types of brushwork in the painting and a quotation from the artist. The device provides its users with clearer perception of the brushwork, which is the vehicle of the work’s colors. It gives them energy and enhances the various effects and expressions: threatening sky, luminous stained glass, shimmering lawn, and so on. Van Gogh’s quotation helps visitors visualize the colors again, as it’s through them that the artist describes his work and how he painted it, how he brought out its motifs.

This unique challenge was generously created by LITO, a new generation publisher and printer, using its patented technology Hi-Rnd ©, which is capable of capturing details with infinite precision and reproducing them via a high-definition printing process.


The original frame found

This original frame for the painting Thatched Cottages at Cordeville in Auvers-sur-Oise was made in accordance with Vincent van Gogh’s instructions. So visitors experience the way in which our perception of the work, its colors in particular, is modified by the type of frame chosen: the simple flat batten frame the artists wanted or the gilded, sculpted frame used hitherto. Visitors also come to understand the importance of the frame, which formed an integral part of Van Gogh’s overall conception of the work. An extract from an interview with the art historian Wouter van der Veen tells us how he found the frame that the artist designed for his painting Thatched Cottages at Cordeville in Auvers-sur-Oise.

Vincent Van Gogh, Chaumes de Cordeville à Auvers-sur-Oise
Vincent Van Gogh
Thatched Cottages at Cordeville in Auvers-sur-Oise , 1890
Musée d'Orsay
Donated by Paul Gachet junior , 1954
© Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
See the notice of the artwork

Illustrated explanatory panels

How did Van Gogh combine colors? How did his palette evolve in Auvers-sur-Oise? Why did some colors vary over the course of time? All questions to which these panels provide answers, enabling better understanding of Van Gogh’s work and his relationship with color. They also explain a significant phenomenon that has an impact on our appreciation of Van Gogh’s canvases today: the discoloration of certain pigments.