The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam houses the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings in the whole world. This famous painter created about 860 paintings, of which 201 are owned by the Van Gogh Museum. Other museums with a large Van Gogh collection are the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo (the Netherlands) and Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
Apart from the many paintings, the museum also has hundreds of drawings and letters. Works of his contemporaries and friends complete the collection, giving a fascinating insight into the painter's life and work.
Van Gogh made all of his work within the short period of just ten years. There was only a three year period between the melancholy state he was in when he painted de Aardappeleters (the potato eaters) and the expressionistic and colourful work he made in Arles. In 1890, Van Gogh committed suicide. He had sold only one painting during his life. Yet, his work quickly became very popular shortly after his death.
The museum is spread across two buildings. The main building was designed by Gerrit Rietveld and was opened in 1973. The annex was opened in 1999 and was designed by Kisho Kurokawa. This annex houses temporary exhibitions.