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Field Trip: Van Gogh Up Close

One rainy day last week, we visited the Van Gogh Up Close exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada.   What a treat!

Blossoming Almond Tree

Even though we have books with reproductions of Van Gogh’s paintings, and even though every single one of his works is available online, there is nothing like actually seeing the real paintings.

Field with Poppies

We were able to lean in close (under the watchful eyes of the many security guards) and see the individual brush strokes.

The Iris

And then we could back up and see what the painting looked like from a distance, all the while dodging people and trying not to impede anyone else’s view.

Undergrowth with Ivy

We were able to see the paintings from all angles, and that made such a difference!  ‘Poppies and Butterflies’ actually glowed when we looked at it from the side.

Poppies and Butterflies

Some of the pictures even sparkled.

View of Arles with Irises

And, because we splurged on a museum membership, we were able to go back into the exhibit after lunch to see everything with fresh eyes (and that second visit paid for the museum membership.)

Vineyard with a View of Auvers

Although the exhibition will soon be over, we plan to study Van Gogh during our first trimester this school year instead of doing our usual artist study with Ambleside Online.

Note:  All reproductions in this post are from The Vincent Van Gogh Gallery website and are from the last few years of Van Gogh’s life.

For inspiration, visit the Carnival of Homeschooling.


  1. Jenn4him says:

    Beautiful! I can only imagine how lovely they are in person.

  2. JoAnn says:

    Sounds like a great time. So glad you got to see them in person.

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