Download hundreds of Japanese prints from Van Gogh’s personal collection for free

There aren’t enough free things that look nice in the world – period. Thanks to the Van Gogh Museum, however, there is now a whole collection of Japanese prints once owned by the artist available for free!

All images courtesy of Van Gough Museum

The Van Gogh Museum has fully digitised the artist’s collection of Japanese prints and made them available online for free!

Vincent Van Gogh never went to Japan. He did, however, upon moving to Arles (the “Japan of France”), become obsessed with the art style. Initially buying a collection of prints, Van Gogh began copying these and elements of them to better understand them, and these prints are now available for free download.

Japanese art was heavily in fashion in Paris during the late 19th century, although not many Dutch artists studied the style.

While everyone knows The Starry Night and Sunflower, not everyone is aware of the artist’s fascination with Japanese art. Van Gogh considered it “the art of the future” as it was in stark contrast to the rigid and rule-bound European art.

Once you’re aware, it’s impossible not to see the influence of Japanese art on Van Gogh’s own works, as his art involved more intense colour, clear lines and lost some dimension as he sought to modernise his art. He believed the art of the future was more joyous and colourful, and even confessed in a letter that, “All my art is based to some extent on Japanese art”. 

Whether or not you’re fascinated by the history of the works, a free download of some cool looking pictures is never amiss! Check them out for yourself here.

Via Open Culture.