New research platform Van Gogh Worldwide

The new digital platform Van Gogh Worldwide was launched on 5 November. It is unique, technically innovative and maintains the highest academic standards, bringing together a wealth of art-historical and technical knowledge about the work of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). For the first time, information about all the works of Vincent van Gogh is brought together using Linked data, a tremendous step forward for researchers.

Founding partners

The RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, the Van Gogh Museum and the Kröller-Müller Museum are the three founding partners of Van Gogh Worldwide. They each possess detailed information on Van Gogh's work, and they have pooled their expertise to make data available in digital form. The platform has been constructed in collaboration with a large number of partners including museums, private individuals and research institutions, especially the Cultural Heritage Laboratory of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. By combining data from all knowledge institutions, an overview is created, which can lead to new insights into Van Gogh's work.

1. Vincent van Gogh, The Potato Eaters, 1885, Oil on canvas, 82 x 114 cm, Photo Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
2. Vincent van Gogh, The potato eaters, 1885, Lithograph on wove paper, 28.4 x 34.1 cm, Photo Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

Linking all knowledge

Van Gogh Worldwide provides details of all works by Vincent van Gogh in the Netherlands: over 1000 paintings and works on paper. The object data, including provenance and exhibition history, literature and letter references and technical information are given for these works. The links to Van Gogh's letters are a special feature, providing insight into how Van Gogh described particular works himself.

The technical information includes additional images of a work (for example, of the verso and raking light) as well as references to research reports. Each image can be examined close-up. The platform aims to provide all published scholarly research results about the artworks. In the second phase, which is due to begin in 2021, data for works located in foreign collections will also be added to the platform. A total of about 2000 works by Van Gogh are currently known.


1. Vincent van Gogh, Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh with sketch of The Potato Eaters (recto), Nuenen, 9 April 1885, Pen and ink on paper, 20.7 x 26.4 cm, Photo Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
2. Screenshot of

Linked data

Van Gogh Worldwide complies with the principles and vision of the Dutch Digital Heritage Network (Netwerk Digitaal Erfgoed) and the Digital Heritage Reference Architecture (DERA). This means that information from different source systems is published as linked data, and connected by means of thesauri. In this way the information is reliable and always up to date. Van Gogh Worldwide is moreover the first platform within the museum and cultural sector to publish data according to the Linked Art data model.

Van Gogh Worldwide is made possible by support from the Mondriaan Fund and the Vincent van Gogh Foundation.