All programs & events
Vincent van Gogh
Nursery on Schenkweg April–May 1882 The Hague

A Life of Pictures

NGV International
Clemenger BBDO Auditorium

Journey through Van Gogh’s multifaceted career as an artist in a series of illustrated lectures by Dr Vincent Alessi.


Dr Vincent Alessi is a Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts at La Trobe University and an alumni of The University of Melbourne. His research interests include the life and work of Vincent van Gogh, mid-late nineteenth century European art, nineteenth century popular graphic illustration and Australian contemporary visual art and curatorial practice.

Vincent completed his PhD on Van Gogh’s collection of black-and-white popular illustrations and is currently undertaking research on the influence of Charles Dickens on Van Gogh. Alessi has also held numerous positions within cultural institutions including Curatorial Manager at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne and Artistic Director of LUMA | La Trobe University Museum of Art.

For information and bookings for individual lectures please see drop-down links below. 

Sat 13 May, 2pm
Van Gogh the Draftsman: Yet Another Failure?

Van Gogh did not set out to become a leading avant-garde artist. Instead his aims were much more humble: to become an illustrator for a magazine.

What were Van Gogh’s early aspirations and was his lack of success just another failure or was this the precursor for the development of a unique artistic voice?

Sun 21 May, 2pm
It’s a Kind of Bible: Van Gogh’s Collection of Black-and-White Prints

During a four-year period, Van Gogh amassed over 2,000 popular prints culled from the pages of illustrated magazines such as The Illustrated London News and The Graphic.

What was the influence of this collection on Van Gogh’s work?

Sat 27 May, 2pm
Wishing to see a Different Light: Sun Symbolism in the Work of Van Gogh

The sun for Van Gogh was more than a star in the sky. It was powerful, life giving and a cure.

What was the role of sun symbolism in the work of Van Gogh, and how are the origins of this motif found in religiosity?

Booking required
$16 M / $20 A / $18 C (individual lecture)
$44 M / $55 A / $50 C (series)
Program bookings
Ph +61 3 8662 1555
10am–5pm, Mon–Fri