Map on a table with a hand holding a toy plane and a camera and magnify glass

Plan your European Adventure Around Vincent van Gogh

February 17th, 2017 Posted by For Art Lovers, Living with Art, Travelling 0 comments on “Plan your European Adventure Around Vincent van Gogh”

If you’re a massive Van Gogh fan and travelling around Europe is on your bucket list, here are some fun tips on where to fulfill your Van Gogh fever!

There are many beautiful locations all over Europe where you can get close to Van Gogh – not only to see his artwork, but to visit places he painted or lived throughout his lifetime. There are so many locations, in fact, that we have put together a short list of our favourites places. So, get ready to plan your big trip to Europe after reading about these must-see Van Gogh destinations! Van (Go)gh to Europe!

photo of van gogh gallery in kroller muller with a few paintings on a white wall
Credit: Kröller-Müller Museum / photo: Marjon Gemmeke

Kröller-Müller Museum – Otterlo, Netherlands

Although the Van Gogh Museum is the obvious choice to see Van Gogh works, you will also be delighted by the Van Gogh Gallery in the Kröller-Müller. It is nestled in a National Park, so the location is beautiful and serene – the best atmosphere for enjoying artwork. Photos are even allowed in the museum, and although the paintings are protected by glass you can get a close look at many of his famous paintings such as “Café Terrace at Night, “Sorrowing Old Man ('At Eternity's Gate')”, and “Country Road in Provence by Night.” It also displays a lot of his earlier works and is the second largest Van Gogh collection in the world!

Van Gogh painting of a countryside field with a yellow house
Painting of Brabant by Van Gogh

Brabant – The Netherlands

If you are wanting to fully connect with Van Gogh’s roots, Brabant is the place to do so! This is the small town where Van Gogh grew up and has many landmarks you can visit during your stay. Often called an outdoor museum of Van Gogh, just taking a stroll through the town of Brabant will take you on a tour of an area that inspired Van Gogh’s work much later in life. It is home to the Vincent van GoghHuis , the art room at his school and a statue of Vincent and his brother Theo. There is also a number of Van Gogh related events and activities that are put on for visitors at different times of the year.

Mons – Belgium

Belgium, besides being home to great waffles and beer, is also known to be where Van Gogh first became an artist after giving up on becoming a Protestant pastor. Here, you can visit the house where Van Gogh completed his first paintings, Maison Van Gogh. It was saved from ruins in the 1970s and is now open to the public. The house is located in a historical mining area, the Borinage, where miners were earning just 2.5 francs a day. When the Belgium Church disowned Van Gogh, he told his brother Theo that he would focus on being an artist but sometimes would go to assist the miners. The community there today is very proud of the connection with Van Gogh and there are many places to see visit that Van Gogh once visited himself, including the mine.

Saint-Paul Asylum with a field in front of it. It is a grey building
The Saint-Paul Asylum Van Gogh was in! These are the very fields he painted!

Provence – France

Next stop? Provence, France! Vincent van Gogh’s most famous works were painted when he was a patient at the Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. This is the perfect place to see some real locations and spots that Van Gogh painted while in the asylum, and there is even a collection of works called “Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Remy.” Provence is where he painted his collection of “The Irises” you can even visit the hospital and its gardens, now renamed Clinique Van Gogh. While you’re here, explore the area where Van Gogh spent the last part of his life and visit the Rhone River, the muse for Gogh’s “Starry Night over Rhone.”

Auvers-Sur-Oise – France

After leaving Provence, Van Gogh travelled north to Auvers-Sur-Oise. This is where you can see some of the most significant landmarks of Van Gogh’s life. Here in this town, you will find the room, at the famous inn Auberge Ravoux, where Van Gogh took his own life. Despite being recently restored, it is a sombre room, with not much light coming from just one window. A short distance away you can visit his gravestone that sits next to his brother’s, Theo. As of late - Van Gogh’s gravestone is being restored, so this would be a poignant landmark to visit on your travels.

A old grave with van gogh's name on it with green leaves surrounding it
Grave of Van Gogh - recently there has been a project to restore it!

Musée d’Orsay – Paris, France

Van Gogh moved to Paris to live with his brother in Montmartre, Paris after living in Belgium. The apartment is a private residence now, but you can see it designated with a marble plaque. You can also visit the oldest surviving vineyard in Paris, where Van Gogh would often go to paint. And of course, while in Paris you can visit many of his masterpieces at Musée d’Orsay. "Starry Night Over the Rhone," "Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles," "Self-Portrait," 1889 and "The Church at Auvers," are just a few of the highlights from the museum’s Van Gogh collection, which has over 25 works on display.

The outside of Musee D'Orsay Museum with the Eiffel Tour in the background
Photo Credit: Musée d’Orsay

Of course, there are many museums and galleries with Van Gogh pieces – these are just a few of our favourites that hold some of Van Gogh’s most riveting history. When you get stuck into planning your next trip to Europe, or if you are planning one right now, be sure to stop and see at least one of these locations that are greatly influenced by one of the most loved impressionist painters. If you can’t get enough, below are a few additional suggestions where you can stop to see even more Van Gogh!

 

Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam

Albertina – Vienna

Musée de Louvre – Paris

The Courtauld Institute of Art – London

The National Gallery – London

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts – Moscow

Tate Gallery – London

Own A Van Gogh Masterpiece

If you're a big Van Gogh fan but don't have time or money to take a trip around Europe, you will be happy to discover you can now own a Van Gogh masterpiece with our incredible 3D re-creations, bringing Europe into your own home! Working with the National Gallery of Canada, Verus Art has launched a limited edition collection of 3D printed rec-creations that replicate the brushstrokes, colour and size of the original pieces. Check out "Iris" and "Bowl of Zinnias and Other Flowers" in our store.

Modern Interior with track lighting on artwork

Make Your Art Pop with Lighting

January 13th, 2017 Posted by For Art Lovers, Living with Art 0 comments on “Make Your Art Pop with Lighting”

You’ve indulged in a stunning new piece of art and decided where to show it off – perhaps above the mantle piece, in the bedroom of your beachside condo or at the head of the table in the boardroom. Even after investing a lot of time (and money) in choosing and hanging a piece of art, getting the lighting right is all too often overlooked.

Achieving perfect lighting, which lets the art take center stage and look like it’s naturally and effortlessly working a space, isn’t always easy so we’ve gathered some tips and pointers from top industry experts.

 

Positioning Art out of Harms Way

Before investing in a lighting set up you need to confirm that the position of your piece isn’t going to be damaged or overwhelmed by natural light. Art should never be placed in direct sunlight as this will quickly damage most art materials, from fading the colours to disintegration of more delicate materials.

Also, reconsider hanging art in between two windows as the light glaring in either side of a piece will probably distract from and overpower the artwork.

 

Choosing the Best Type of Lighting

Choosing the right fixture of lighting depends on the look and feel of your décor but also on the feasibility of fitting lights into your ceiling. More contemporary settings are often lit with recesses lighting, a series of small spotlights which are built into the ceiling and can be angled to best complement a piece. Rule of thumb is that the lighting should be at a 30º angle to the centre of the image to avoid any shadowing from acute angles or glare from more obtuse angles.

Verus Art Monet Re-Creation with Recess Lighting
Verus Art re-creation of Monet's Jean-Pierre Hoschedé and Michel Monet on the Banks of the Epte.

 

Track lighting provides a similar effect to recess lighting but is less discrete and might fit with the décor, in both contemporary and more traditional settings. However, track lighting does provide flexibility with most fittings allowing easy re-positioning and movement of spotlights.

 

The most flexible option is to fit picture lights to your piece, also adding an elegant finish to your décor as they are widely available in many styles and dimensions. However, it can still be tricky to fit these while concealing any wires. Picture lamps are especially useful for adjusting lighting to suit individual paintings and for art that might be swapped and changed frequently.

Picture above a mantle piece with lighting by Home Depot
Photo Credit: Home Depot with Picture Lighting Featured

 

Buying the Right Bulbs

As we start to see traditional bulbs phased out of the market, especially in Europe, LED bulbs are a top choice among lighting experts, especially as quality and availability is improving all the time. Due to low heat and no UV or Infrared light emission, LEDs are also a low-risk option when it comes to light damage. Traditional halogen spotlights create the brightest white light and are still popular but need to be placed far enough away from an image to avoid any heat damage.

When choosing LED bulbs, experts recommend opting for a high Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of 90+, to ensure the colours in your artwork remain true. You will also be able to select the warmth or coolness of your bulbs as well as the beam width, which should be chosen to roughly match the width of your frame.

Group of led bulbs closeup on white background.

The Perfect Settings

Finally, with your lights and bulbs at the ready, you’ll be able to set the intensity of your lights. Common rules of thumb are that lighting should be set to fit nighttime lighting, this is because setting to fit daylight risks creating an overpowering ‘showroom’ style lighting in the evenings.

Another rule of thumb is that the lighting on your artwork should be three times brighter than the ambient light in the room. Even with lighting being at the top of an image, staying with in the “three times brighter” rule means that our human eyes will perceive the whole image as being the same brightness.

Lighting Art Diagram
Image Credit: Lighting Art Diagram from brandlighting.com

10 Most Expensive Paintings Sold in 2016

December 19th, 2016 Posted by Art News 0 comments on “10 Most Expensive Paintings Sold in 2016”

After staggering, record-breaking sales in 2015, the world’s finest auction houses were faced with a year of high expectations.

With nothing passing the $100million marker, this year’s chart topper only just made the top 50 most expensive paintings ever - however it still smashed the current record for works by that artist.

As the year comes to an end, we thought it would be fun to recap on 2016 with the Top 10 most expensive paintings sold, well as it stands on December 19 at least!

(Feature Photo Credit: Christie's)

10. << Two Studies for a Self Portrait >>, by Francis Bacon, 1970

$35 million, sold via Sotheby’s New York on May 11

A striking pair of self portraits providing double representation, with a characteristic front-facing portrait and more unusual side angle. Painted in 1970, Bacon was leading up to his first big retrospective at the Grand Palais in 1971 and reflects the energy and excitement he was experiencing at the time in his life, using an optimistic, European inspired palette. This year saw this work come to sale for the first time since it was sold in 1970 and was estimated to sell between $20-30million.

Francis Bacon’s "Two Studies for a Self-Portrait" is looked at in closer detail in this Sotheby's video.

 

9. Untitled (New York City), by Cy Twombly, 1968

$36.7 million, sold via Sotheby’s New York on May 11

One of Cy Twombly’s iconic blackboard paintings, this was painted during the years following his return to New York when he explored grey paintings after spending years painting vibrant pieces in Europe. This piece is the only piece that uses blue chalk in this famous blackboard series and really stands out in what is already a highly sought after collection.

This Sotheby's video takes a closer look at Cy Twombly’s majestic "Untitled (New York City)" from his famed Blackboard series.

 

8. The Grand Snowing Mountains (飛雪伴春), by CUI Ruzhuo, 2013

$39.6 million, sold via Poly Auction Hong Kong on April 4

A renowned Chinese impressionist painter, Ruzhuo is praised for his talent to combine ancient influences with modern techniques, focusing on traditional brushwork and atmosphere of ink painting. Deemed as one of the world’s Top 100 living artists, Cui Ruzhuo’s eight panel masterpiece was snapped up for a record $39.6 million (almost double the estimated price), for a piece that was completed just three years ago.

The Grand Snowing Mountains / 飞雪伴春 , 2013
Photo Credit: www.artnet.com

7. Pikene på broen (Girls on the Bridge), by Edvard Munch, 1902

$54.5 million, sold via Sotheby’s New York on November 14

Coming close to it’s estimated $50millin estimated value, Edvard Munch led the November Sotheby’s auction for the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening. From a 12-painting series, this is one of two works that remains in private hands and is celebrated as one of Munch’s greatest masterpiece, setting previous auction records aside from the 2012 sale of “The Scream” which netted $112 million.

In this Sothevy's video, artist Eric Fischl discusses Munch’s style and why Pikene på broen (Girls on the Bridge) is one of his most powerful masterpieces.

 

6. Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard), by Amedeo Modigliani, 1919

$56.3 million, sold via Sotheby’s London on June 21

A captivating piece that was painted towards the end of Mogiliani’s short life, it features his muse and his lover who took her own life at 22, just two days after Mogiliani died from tubercular meningitis. One of his most accomplished and finished pieces, it demonstrated what potential and talent the young artists was gifted with. Instead we have what is one of the poignant love stories of 20th century art.

This Sotheby's video digs deep into the story behind the masterpiece, which is also explored in their blog post about the piece.

 

5. Untitled, by John-Michel Basquiat, 1982

$57.2 million, sold via Christie’s New York on May 10

More than 16ft wide and over 8ft tall, this epic masterpiece is deemed one of Basquiat’s most accomplished works, loved for the way it exuberates such energy and passion – even at a monstrous scale. This piece topped the May auction in New York as well as setting a record for a Basquiat piece, with Dustheads selling for $48.8 million in 2013.

Untitled by John-Michel Basquiat
Photo Credit: Christie's New York - Untitled by Jean Michel Basquiat

4. Lot and His Daughters, by Peter Paul Reubens, circa 1613-1614

$58 million, sold via Christie’s New York on July 7

With a distinguished provenance and time stamp from the peak of Reubens’ success, Lot and His Daughters offered a rare opportunity for collectors to invest in a remarkable piece of history. Taken from the Old Testament, the tale of Lot and His Daughters was popular with a number of artists of the era, with Reubens returning to it multiple times.

Lot and His Daugthers by Sir Peter Paul Rubens
Photo Credit: Christie's - Lot and His Daugthers by Sir Peter Paul Rubens

3. Femme Assise, by Pablo Picasso, 1919

$63.4 million, sold via Sotheby’s London on June 21

Femme Assise represents the time in which Pablo Picasso escaped the criticism and rejection of his works in France, in more relaxed, free parts of Spain. It is here where he pushed his boundaries and developed the early works of Cubism. Taking a portrait and treating it in a way an artist might a sculpture, he wanted to make 2D pieces come alive and during this time he produced a series of canvases which changed the art world.

In this Sotheby's video Pablo Picasso’s grandson, Olivier Widmaier Picasso, discusses the moment in Picasso’s career when he created a series of canvases based on the features of his lover Fernande Olivier. Five observations about Femme Assise are also covered in this blog post about the piece.

 

2. Untitled XXV, by Willem de Kooning, 1977

$66.3 million, sold via Christie’s New York on November 15

Setting a record in 2005 as the most expensive post-war painting every sold, this Willem de Kooning piece was back to auction again, with a sale that didn’t disappoint. Originally painted in a burst of activity from Kooning in the 1970s, this vast, energetic piece is understandably sought after.

To get a close up of the beautiful texture and colours in the piece, the auction program is a must view!

Untitled XXV by Willem Kooning
Photo Credit: Christie's - Untitled XXV by Willem Kooning

 

1. Meule, by Claude Monet, 1890-1891

$81.4 million, sold via Christie’s New York on November 16

One of the last in Monet’s epic Grainstack series, Meule not only set the record for 2016 but also for a Monet piece, with the last record being set in June 2008 when an iconic Water Lilies piece sold for approximately $63.6 million. In anticipation of holding an exhibition, Monet completed 25 pieces in 1890, recording the differences in seasons and time of day. With a passion to represent ‘moments in time’, Meule has a stunning effect which makes you feel the scene as if you were there.

This video from Christie's explores the story and meaning behind 2016's most expensive piece of art.

 

Own A Monet Masterpiece

If you're a massive Monet fan but don't have pockets that are $81.4 million deep, you'll be pleased to discover you can now own a Monet masterpiece with our incredible 3D re-creations. Working with the National Gallery of Canada, Verus Art has launched a limited edition collection of 3D printed reproductions that replicate the brushstrokes, colour and size of the original pieces. Check out "A Stormy Sea" and "Jean-Pierre Hoschedé and Michel Monet on the Banks of the Epte" in our store.

art of water gilding

The Art of Water Gilded Frames

December 15th, 2016 Posted by Behind the Scenes 0 comments on “The Art of Water Gilded Frames”

Water gilding is an ancient method of applying gold leaf to a surface that has been passed down by talented artisans for generations. While it is a laborious process that can only be completed by hand, the results are stunning – giving the object a luminous appearance like solid gold.

Examples of gilded objects dating back to over 4000 years old have been found, but France perfected the technique during the Renaissance and established its leadership in the art of water gilding. For over a century, the artisans at Laron-Juhl’s Selenar facility in France have used traditional gilding materials and techniques.

These beautiful hand-crafted frames can be found on some of the Verus Art re-creations such as the Monterey frame chosen by the National Gallery to complement Monet’s A Stormy Sea re-creation.

Watch the video below to learn more about the art of water gilding.

Phot credit: Lisa Vollmer Photography via AnneFredericks.com

Gift wrapping Verus Art re-creation

The Art of Gift Wrapping Artwork

December 9th, 2016 Posted by Living with Art 0 comments on “The Art of Gift Wrapping Artwork”

You’ve already found the perfect piece of art, but a convenient gift bag from the supermarket won’t cut it? If you’re like us, you probably want your gift wrapping to live up to the masterpiece that waits inside.

As we count down to the holidays we’ve pulled together our top wrapping tips and ideas to take a little pressure of you this holiday season. After all, wrapping gifts in between buying festive sweaters, attending back-to-back parties, and transforming your home into Santa’s grotto can be exhausting!

(Warning – you might feel very smug with your wrapping this year.)

Going Big and Bold – The Pre-Installed Surprise

If you are planning a surprise at home, hanging the painting in place is a great move - especially if it’s large and cumbersome!

To add some holiday pizzazz, try tying a ribbon and bow around the frame. Not only is it quick and easy for any stealth Santa moves but it will look fabulous and won’t risk marking the frame or artwork.

hanging-art-lr

Verus Art Iris with gift wrap

The Magic of a Gift Box

A good quality gift box will look amazing and make life a lot easier – without worrying about a corner poking through or accidentally ripping the paper by putting a heavy present on top of the center.

Make sure you measure up and shop for a gift box that will give you at least a couple of centimeters of space around the frame. This will let you stuff the box with tissue, shredded paper, foam pellets or even feathers!

Once you’ve laid the painting in place, lay a few sheets of ruffled tissue on top to fill the space between the artwork and the box lid.

Finally, close up your box and add your favorite decoration - you could wrap it (carefully) with special paper, tie a ribbon and bow or even glue pine cones or gingerbread gift tags to the top. Hallmark has a great YouTube playlist of gift wrapping tips plus you can take inspiration from Decorators Notebook and Craftberry Bush’s finishing touches or turn to Pinterest for hundreds of ideas!

Photo credit: Decorator's Notebook
Photo credit: Decorator's Notebook
Photo Credit: Craftberry Bush
Photo Credit: Craftberry Bush

For a Talented Seamstress

Another favorite and quirky idea of ours is to jump on the sewing machine and stitch a pouch to slide the painting into.

Simply measure the painting, head to your local fabric shop and follow the super easy instructions by Design Sponge.

Not only will it impress the socks off your recipient but it will be something they can use again to keep their precious artwork safe in the future.

Photo Credit: Design Sponge
Photo Credit: Design Sponge

Adding A Special Touch to Safe and Sturdy Packaging

When mailing artwork, we all know secure packaging is necessary! But this doesn’t mean you can’t make it look and feel special.

For top safety and security, we recommend ordering a specially made artwork mailing box. Look for packaging that has reinforced backings and foam inserts for extra protection – an extra bonus is that it can be kept for future moving or storage.

Granted, this isn’t the most exciting packaging, but using gift wrapping on the outside is going to be a waste of good paper. Instead, you could tie a bow around the painting, line the box lid with festive paper and place some tissue around the painting before securing it into the foam holder.

Finally, don’t forget to check your courier holiday mailing dates to make sure it reaches the lucky recipient on time!

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wrapping-for-the-post-2-lr

Welcome To The Verus Art Blog

December 1st, 2016 Posted by Behind the Scenes 0 comments on “Welcome To The Verus Art Blog”

Like most organisations, there is more to Verus Art than meets the eye. Granted, our collection of re-creations speaks for itself – being able to make 3D reproductions of masterpieces for people to enjoy in their homes, boardrooms and even in classrooms is incredible.

But the people and processes behind our re-creations are amazing too, which is why we’ll be sharing lots of stories and information on this blog.

Going forward, we’ll be taking you behind the scenes as we work with museums and artists to develop new collections and we’ll be sharing some fun and practical tips for living with art.

We’ll also be reporting on art news and events that have caught our eye and we’ll be inviting you to join us in having some fun putting your (and our) art knowledge to the test with the occasional quiz.

If you ever wish to reach out to our blogging team, please get in touch via info@verusart.com

Until next time,

Verus Art

behind-the-scenes
behind-the-scenes-photography

About Us

Verus Art is passionate about art and technology and our blog is where we will share our stories, ideas and information about these worlds. We'll also be supporting our mission to make art more accessible, focusing on working with museums and artists to put masterpieces into homes, boardrooms and classrooms.

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