Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gaugin: A Turbulent Creativity

Afternoon lecture by David Gariff

Wednesday, November 17th | 12:30pm

Generously supported by The Marilyn Litchman Distinguished Speakers Series

Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin: A Turbulent Creativity explores the differing personalities and approaches to modern painting espoused by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) and Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) during the brief time they lived and worked together in the yellow house in Arles. Van Gogh desired to escape the pressures of urban living in Paris, seeking instead a quieter life immersed in the southern light and colors of Provence. His desire was to create a brotherhood of artists in Arles presided over by his friend Gauguin. In 1888 Van Gogh moved to Arles, eventually convincing Gauguin to leave Brittany where he was then working and join him. Van Gogh’s 16 months in Arles comprise the most prolific period of his career as a painter. The nine weeks he shared with Gauguin, however, were among the most volatile, explosive, and traumatic in the artist’s life. This lecture will also consider some of the latest theories about Van Gogh’s death as well as new information about Gauguin’s final days.

David Gariff is a senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. A specialist in modern art and the art of the Italian Renaissance, he has taught art history at The Catholic University of America, the University of Wisconsin, Cleveland State University, Trinity University, and the University of Maryland, College Park, where he received his Ph.D. He was a graduate fellow in Italy at the University of Florence and the University of Pisa, and a Fulbright and Kress Foundation fellow at the Institute for the History of Lombard Art in Milan. Gariff has lectured and written widely on topics related to modern art, film, and the Italian Renaissance; his book The World’s Most Influential Painters and the Artists They Inspired (2008) explores the theme of artistic influence and inspiration in Western painting. (133 words)

The Marilyn Lichtman Distinguished Speaker Series brings leaders in art communities and institutions across the United States to The Kreeger Museum to engage with audiences on a multitude of issues relating to art and contemporary culture.

General Admission: $25
Members: $20

Space is very limited for this program.

As part of our commitment to making sure that this program remains open and accessible to every member of our community, we are happy to offer a limited number of Pay-What-You-Can tickets.

These tickets are first come, first served, and must be purchased by contacting us directly at

Proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 is required for all individuals 12 and older to attend all programs and events at The Kreeger Museum. Masks are required in all indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status.