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

A Life of Pictures

NGV International
Clemenger BBDO Auditorium
Ground Level

Journey through Van Gogh’s multifaceted career as an artist in a series of accessible 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 (Past)

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 (Past)

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 (Past)

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?