Essentially an artistic treasure hunt, the Mile is a brilliant appetiser to The Hermitage’s main course where 75 of the artist’s most famous works will be on display until April 25th 2013. Simple canvases questioning the value of art, an immense theme for Van Gogh, have been placed incongruously in highly esteemed art galleries and antique shops on pretty Spiegelgracht.
200 Dutch bibles fill an otherwise unremarkable window, with one copy of Emile Zola’s La joie de vivre placed at odds with them, highlighting the artist’s own struggle with religion.
Later on, a pair of old boots, upturned and stuck to the ceiling of a centuries-old milk shop in Kerkstraat, provide a visual foil to Van Gogh’s floating words. Joanna Tweedy