Detail of Camille Pissarro’s (1830-1903), Vaches s’abreuvant dans l’etang de Montfoucault, automne, 1875

The Loaded Brush III: Van Gogh and Beyond

The third edition of The Loaded Brush, a curated Christie’s selling exhibition of masterpieces from private collections, celebrates the influence of Vincent van Gogh on many artists across the last century

His artistic career may have lasted just a decade, and happened 130 years ago, but Vincent van Gogh’s legacy is as strong as ever. This year’s edition of The Loaded Brush — a curated exhibition of masterpieces from private collections — celebrates the Dutchman’s influence on a host of leading painters.

Organised by Christie’s, the show is being held at the Hong Kong Convention Centre from 23 to 26 November 2018 and features work by the likes of Monet, Sisley, Renoir, Picasso, Bonnard, Maurice de Vlaminck, contemporary artists Leon Kossoff, Gerhard Richter, Zao Wou-Ki and Jenny Saville; as well as Van Gogh himself.

Claude Monet (1840-1926), Bords de la Seine à Jeufosse, automne, 1884

Claude Monet (1840-1926), Bords de la Seine à Jeufosse, automne, 1884

Now in its third year, the exhibition takes its name from the moment of creative possibility when a painter is armed with a ‘loaded brush’. In this year’s edition, 60 works will be on view, including The ‘Laakmolen’ near The Hague (The Windmill), a groundbreaking, early watercolour of a Dutch mill that Van Gogh had visited as a young man with his brother Theo; and the rapidly executed Le Moulin, a summertime vision of another mill, this one in a Provençal landscape near the town of Arles, where Van Gogh spent 15 months towards the end of his life.

‘Vincent van Gogh, the great genius of late-19th century painting and early modernism, has had a profound influence on many artists over the years,’ says Jussi Pylkkänen, Global President of Christie’s. ‘We’re delighted to be able to bring together works influenced by [him] — particularly in Asia, where there is continual interest in masterpieces of this calibre.’

‘The Loaded Brush gives an unprecedented opportunity to see works of art which very rarely have been on public view’ — Jussi Pylkkänen

One such masterpiece is Homme au chapeau  by Pablo Picasso (1964), created in homage to Van Gogh. Painted with luscious, gestural brushstrokes in oil and ripolin (an industrial paint that creates rich swathes of impasto), it depicts a young man wearing a straw hat — the type of hat synonymous with the Dutchman and featured in a number of his self-portraits.

Another highlight of the exhibition is de Vlaminck’s canvas Le Pesage, a depiction of a fashionable crowd in an array of brightly-hued outfits at a Paris racetrack. Like other members of the Fauvist movement, de Vlaminck was inspired by Van Gogh’s experiments in thick brushwork and, above all, explosive colour.

The works in The Loaded Brush  come from major private collections across the world, and the majority of them are for sale.

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Vaches sabreuvant dans letang de Montfoucault, automne, 1875

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Vaches s'abreuvant dans l'etang de Montfoucault, automne, 1875

As well as offerings by Van Gogh and artists he influenced, the exhibition will also include works by figures who influenced him: notably, Impressionists such as Monet and Pissarro, whose paintings he encountered on moving to Paris in the mid-1880s. These painters worked en plein air  with a radical spontaneity and vividness of colour that affected Van Gogh hugely, as exemplified by Pissarro’s Vaches s’abreuvant dans l’étang de Montfoucault, automne, above.

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The Loaded Brush  will be a complement to Christie’s Hong Kong auction series, which takes place from 24 to 28 November. ‘The exhibition has become a central part of the annual art calendar in Hong Kong,’ confirms Pylkkänen. ‘It gives an unprecedented opportunity to see works of art which very rarely have been on public view.’