Pop art ... Ludwig Museum, Cologne.

Pop art ... Ludwig Museum, Cologne.



It is taking everything in my power not to burst into tears. I am in Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum staring into the harrowed eyes of one of the legendary master's famous self-portraits.


I defy anyone to remain cool when seeing their first van Gogh. 


Seeing the piece so close is an almost spiritual experience. The painter is so alive in the work, it's as if he's trapped in the agony of his self-hatred for eternity, and I want to dive in and rescue him.



Ruins ... the castle and old town of Heidelberg.

Ruins ... the castle and old town of Heidelberg. 


I defy anyone to remain cool when seeing their first van Gogh. It's impossible not to be affected, sight and soul. 


The bipolar manic highs and unbearable depressive lows of the tragic short-lived Dutch painter's life are all there, in paint, from his earliest dark-shadowed The Potato Eaters to those familiar irises and sunflowers so radiant they set off their own heat.