Sunday, July 12, 2020

Van Gogh Immersive

July 2020 - Toronto ON
Click here for Starry Starry Nights - Foto Tunes
Need a washroom?

The world-premiere of the new Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit from the creators of the blockbuster show at Atelier des Lumières seen by over 2 million visitors in Paris.

We were so excited to actually go to an event, we've only been doing small car trips since lockdown in March.

We had seen this show in Paris last year at Atleier des Lumineres and loved it.

Our tickets were ordered in February as pre-sales as soon as the show was announced. We chose a date in May as we assumed we would be back from our winter travels (NOT) by then. The tickets were rescheduled to July as the show scrambled to provide the social distancing requirements.

The exhibition is custom designed to the historic space that housed the Toronto Star’s printing presses at 1 Yonge Street — transforming the industrial into the magical. Experience the organic landscapes of Van Gogh’s imagination, and ride the rollercoaster of Van Gogh’s brilliance and madness.

Be immersed in 600,000 cubic feet of stunning projection animating the masters’ oeuvre and illuminating the mind of the genius. Wander through giant projections that highlight brushstroke, detail, and colour as you have never experienced them.

Tickets are for timed entry, the video runs in a 35 minute continuous loop so you can enter at any time and stay as long as you like.
Masks are mandatory and you must stay in a social circle but you can move about to any vacant rings.

It was much fuller than it appears here. People come and go.

Visitors will be immersed in Van Gogh’s works — from his sunny landscapes and night scenes, to his portraits and still life paintings. The installation includes the Mangeurs de pommes de terre (The Potato Eaters, 1885), the Nuit étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889).

Van Gogh saw the Potato Eaters as a showpiece, for which he deliberately chose a difficult composition to prove he was on his way to becoming a good figure painter. The painting had to depict the harsh reality of country life, so he gave the peasants coarse faces and bony, working hands. He wanted to show in this way that they ‘have tilled the earth themselves with these hands they are putting in the dish ... that they have thus honestly earned their food’.
 Nowadays, the Potato Eaters is one of Van Gogh’s most famous works.

Starry Night
Vincent van Gogh painted Starry Night in 1889 during his stay at the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.  If attended, he could leave the hospital grounds; he was allowed to paint, read, and withdraw into his own room. He was even given a studio. While he suffered from the occasional relapse into paranoia and fits - officially he had been diagnosed with epileptic fits - it seemed his mental health was recovering.
Unfortunately, he relapsed. He began to suffer hallucination and have thoughts of suicide as he plunged into depression. Accordingly, there was a tonal shift in his work. He returned to incorporating the darker colors from the beginning of his career and Starry Night is a wonderful example of that shift. Blue dominates the painting, blending hills into the sky. The little village lays at the base in the painting in browns, greys, and blues. Even though each building is clearly outlined in black, the yellow and white of the stars and the moon stand out against the sky, drawing the eyes to the sky. They are the big attention grabber of the painting.

Van Gogh’s paintings of Sunflowers are among his most famous. He did them in Arles, in the south of France, in 1888 and 1889. Vincent painted a total of five large canvases with sunflowers in a vase, with three shades of yellow ‘and nothing else’. In this way, he demonstrated that it was possible to create an image with numerous variations of a single colour, without any loss of eloquence.

The sunflower paintings had a special significance for Van Gogh: they communicated ‘gratitude’, he wrote. He hung the first two in the room of his friend, the painter Paul Gauguin, who came to live with him for a while in the Yellow House. Gauguin was impressed by the sunflowers, which he thought were ‘completely Vincent’. Van Gogh had already painted a new version during his friend’s stay and Gauguin later asked for one as a gift, which Vincent was reluctant to give him. He later produced two loose copies, however, one of which is now in the Van Gogh Museum.

While he was in Arles, Van Gogh made this painting of his bedroom in the Yellow House. He prepared the room himself with simple furniture and with his own work on the wall. The bright colours were meant to express absolute ‘repose’ or ‘sleep’. Research shows that the strongly contrasting colours we see in the work today are the result of discolouration over the years. The walls and doors, for instance, were originally purple rather than blue. The apparently odd angle of the rear wall, meanwhile, is not a mistake on Van Gogh’s part – the corner really was skewed. The rules of perspective seem not to have been accurately applied throughout the painting, but this was a deliberate choice. Vincent told Theo in a letter that he had deliberately ‘flattened’ the interior and left out the shadows so that his picture would resemble a Japanese print. Van Gogh was very pleased with the painting: ‘When I saw my canvases again after my illness, what seemed to me the best was the bedroom.’

The Sower

Girl in White

Japanese influence

I was watching a man with a camera taking photos behind a mirror under the staircase so I strolled over when he left.
There was a mirrored room.

Exit through the gift shop. You could also design and paint your own t-shirt.


  1. What a great way to represent his work. As you know, the real Sunflowers is rather small.

  2. Grandgirl is under orders to go see this.
    Jackie I can't thank you enough. You have me in tears with this post. One of the reasons I so miss Toronto at times and the feasting I could do on art and music and theatre.

    Thank you thank you!


  3. Wow, this beautiful Van Gogh museum ..., the visualization of the museum is amazing!

  4. Wow! This looks amazing and I would love to see it some day!

  5. A marvelous exhibition! Gorgeously presented.
    Thanks for sharing at

  6. I would love to see this exhibition. Thank you for sharing your many photos.

  7. ...this is fabulous, but for the moment the only enclosed space that I want to be in is our home. Perhaps I can see it when it's a rerun! Thanks Jackie for sharing something that I can look forward to seeing.

  8. Oh, how I would love to participate in this! Thank you for sharing your amazing photos.

  9. Wow - what a great exhibition!

  10. I saw this in Paris too it was amazing, I have a zillion photos as every time it changed I thought it was incredible. I like the circles on the floor!

  11. My goodness, what an extraordinary exhibit! I enjoyed all your photos :)

    Your support for 'My Corner of the World' is much appreciated! Thanks for your link this week.

  12. amazing.... lovely photos of Van Gogh


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