Van Gogh and the Seasons #2

The National Gallery of Victoria’s 2017 Winter Masterpieces will be a major exhibition of Van Gogh, focusing on the seasons that had such a profound influence on him, and the places that were the setting for many of the defining moments of his tumultuous life.


Arrive in Melbourne and check-in to the Langham Southbank Hotel.

Tour arrangements begin at 5.00 pm with a welcome talk and dinner followed by a concert of the Australian National Academy of Music Orchestra conducted by Richard Tognetti.

GREENWOOD – 48 Responses to Polymorphia
PENDERECKI – Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima
BRAHMS – Symphony no. 1

Richard Tognetti conductor
ANAM Orchestra


Join Christopher for an illustrated introduction to ‘Van Gogh and The Seasons’, followed by a visit to the exhibition and time to further explore the National Gallery of Victoria.

In the afternoon visit the Heide Museum of Modern Art. ‘Heide’ as it is affectionately known, began life in 1934 as the Melbourne home of John and Sunday Reed and has since evolved into one of Australia’s most unique destinations for modern and contemporary Australian art. The May tour will have the opportunity to see an exhibition of Charles Blackman’s compelling Schoolgirls series, produced between 1952 and 1955, which marked a turning point in the artist’s career, sealing his reputation as a significant painter of modern life in the post-war era. June exhibition details to be announced.

Late afternoon return to the hotel.


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Or extend your stay in Melbourne. Extra night rates available on request.


Per person, twin-share from

AUD 950

Single* from

AUD 1,200

Deposit (per person) at time of booking

AUD 250

*All prices are per person, in AUD.

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Tour prices

Langham Southbank Hotel

Classic Rooms
Per person, twin-share AUD 950
Single* AUD 1,200

River View Rooms
Per person, twin-share AUD 990
Single* AUD 1,360

Final payment due

30 March 2017

Tour codes


Fitness level

Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.


Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance.

Tour price includes

  • Two nights’ accommodation at the Langham Southbank Hotel with breakfast daily (B)
  • Welcome dinner (D), incl. wines
  • Premium-reserve tickets for Australian National Academy of Music concert
  • Illustrated introduction to ‘Van Gogh and The Seasons’
  • Pre-booked exhibition entrance
  • Half-day tour to Heide Museum of Modern Art

Tour price does not include

  • Flights to/from Melbourne
  • Transfers on arrival and departure
  • Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone, laundry, minibar etc.)
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Optional performances


Your hotel

The Langham *****
Located on Southbank Promenade, this grand hotel features an extensive array of services and facilities including Melba restaurant, Aria bar and lounge, Chuan spa, a gymnasium and swimming pool. The rooms combine classic elegance with contemporary facilities. Grand Classic rooms offer views of Southbank or the Bay whilst Grand River Rooms offer premium views of the city skyline and Yarra River. The hotel is a 5 minute walk from the Arts Centre Melbourne.

NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted.


The seasons had profound meaning for Van Gogh: they represented the circle of life within nature – birth, bloom, maturity and death. For the artist, this ongoing cycle represented the greatness of nature and the existence of a higher force. Van Gogh repeatedly painted scenes that richly evoke the sensory pleasures or deprivations particular to each season – spring-time, with its blossoming orchards and flowering meadows; summer, with fields of ripe wheat shimmering under the hot sun; autumn, with bountiful harvests and solitary figures sowing seeds as dusk approaches; and winter, with peasants digging potatoes out of frozen fields, or sharing a meagre meal by candlelight.

The exhibited works depict places that were the setting for many defining moments in the artist’s tumultuous life – the Dutch region of Brabant, where Van Gogh was born in 1853 and lived for much of his early life; Arles, where the artist experienced his most defining period of creativity; Saint-Rémy de Provence, where he was treated for mental illness in the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum; and Auvers-sur-Oise, where Van Gogh committed suicide in 1890.

‘Van Gogh and the Seasons’ features works lent by leading international museums, including the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (which respectively hold the largestand second largest collections of works by Van Gogh in the world). It features approximately forty paintings and twenty-five drawings, presented within sections devoted to each of the four seasons. Additional documentary material, including works from Van Gogh’s own art collection (such as Japanese woodcuts), will provide fascinating context and show ‘the seasons’ as a subject of perennial interest to artists of many different cultures and eras.

The exhibition invites viewers to contemplate Van Gogh’s life and experiences through his observations of the seasonal changes within the natural world. Drawing extensively from Van Gogh’s letters and from research into his deep interest in literature and nature, Van Gogh and the Seasons explores the influences and themes that dominate much of this visionary artist’s work.

‘Van Gogh and The Seasons’ is curated by Sjraar van Heugten (independent art historian and former Head of Collections at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam). 


Vincent van Gogh Dutch 1853–1890, Wheat Field with Cypresses (detail),
Saint-Rémy, early September 1889 oil on canvas 72.5 x 91.5 cm.
The National Gallery, London.