Pikachu portrait with grey felt hat plushie, exclusive Pokémon card, and an honestly clever way to teach people about art history.

If Vincent van Gogh were alive today, there’s a pretty decent chance that he’d be a Pokémon fan, or at the very least someone who could appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the beloved anime/video game/card game series. Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum says he was a great admirer of the Japanese prints that were the Western world’s first significant insight into Japanese artistic sensibilities following the country’s opening to the international community in the late 1800s, going so far as say “And we wouldn’t be able to study Japanese art, it seems to me, without becoming much happier and more cheerful, and it makes us return to nature, despite our education and our work in a world of convention,” in a letter to his brother.

Now, more than a century later, we aren’t able to look at the art of the museum’s Pokémon x Van Gogh collaborative exhibit without becoming much happier and more cheerful ourselves.

Announced earlier this month, the wait for the crossover has been mercifully short, opening at the Van Gogh Museum on September 28. As part of the event, the museum is exhibiting six Pokémon paintings done in the style of van Gogh. In addition to the above-pictured piece in which Pikachu stands in for van Gogh in Self-portrait with Grey Felt Hat, Sunflora takes its place among Sunflowers, and Snorlax and Munchlax hang out in The Bedroom.

▼ Some of the other paintings can be seen in this tweet from the museum

The museum says its goal for the event is “introducing and teaching young budding artists about the works of Vincent van Gogh.” Some stuffy-minded scholars may turn up their noses at the prospects of combining established classics with such contemporary pop culture, but it’s honestly a pretty ingenious way of helping people without an art history background identify and understand what makes van Gogh’s art special. Because of how familiar kids (and grown-up Pokémon fans too) already are with how Pikachu ordinarily looks, it’s easy to spot the differences between his standard character design and the van Gogh-inspired version, and those differences are representative of what makes van Gogh’s art special and sets it apart from that of other painters.

The museum will also encourage visitors to seek out the van Gogh paintings that are serving as the inspiration for the Pokémon paintings, in the process completing a Pokémon Adventure activity that will get them a special Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat Pokémon card. In addition, the museum has prepared a Van Gogh and Pokémon lesson plan for teachers of students age 9 to 12, with the material available for free online here.

And, of course, you can’t expect there to be an adorable new Pikachu design without an adorable new Pikachu plushie and some other merch, which is being offered both at the museum’s gift shop and through its online store here.

▼ Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat figure

The Pokémon x Van Gogh event runs until January 7.

Related: The Van Gogh Museum official website
Source, images: The Pokémon Company
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