Vincent van Gogh, "Irises" (1889), Oil on canvas, 29 1/4 × 37 1/8 in. (courtesy the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles)

On July 27, 1890, in a field near Auvers on the outskirts of Paris, Vincent van Gogh pulled a 7mm revolver and shot himself in the chest. He died from his injuries two days later, at age 37. The Dutch painter, who struggled with depression and spent long periods in solitude, would posthumously become one of the most influential artists in the canon of Western art.

An end-of-year ranking of the top searches on the Getty Museum’s website in 2020 provides another testament to van Gogh’s enduring allure. The results show that people turned to van Gogh’s work for solace during this dark year. The troubled artist topped the list of most searched artists, and his name appeared in the most searched terms in 2020. Also, his 1889 painting “Irises,” which he made while hospitalized at an asylum in Saint-Rémy a year before his death, was the most viewed artwork on the Getty’s online collection this year, with a whopping 38,324 views. Other sought-out artists included Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Rembrandt, and Edgar Degas.

Titled “Getty Wrapped 2020,” the list mimics the style of Spotify’s annual “Wrapped” analysis, ranking top song and artist searches for the year on the app, and for individual users. The museum posted the list on social media on December 5, recording the top searched terms, artists, and the most viewed artworks on its website.

See the Getty’s list of most popular art searches for 2020, reproduced below:

Most searched terms

  • “French” (3,965 views)
  • “Holland” (3,722 views)
  • “Van Gogh” (1,852 views)
  • “Portrait” (1,795 views)
  • “Monet” (1,402 views)

Most searched artists

  • Vincent van Gogh (1,852 views)
  • Claude Monet (1,402 views)
  • Édouard Manet (484 views)
  • Rembrandt (331 views)
  • Edgar Degas (318 views)

Most viewed artworks

Hakim Bishara is a Senior Editor at Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital...