Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DUTCH IMPRESSIONIST MASTER




Vincent van Gogh, c. 1866, approx. age 13
From Wikipedia


Vincent van Gogh, age 18, c. 1871–1872
Taken at the branch of Goupil & Cie's gallery
The Hague
From Wikipedia


Image courtesy of Don Kurtz at ARC
Vincent van Gogh (March 30, 1853 - July 29, 1890) is generally considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt, though he had little success during his lifetime. Van Gogh produced all of his work (some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings) during a period of only 10 years before he succumbed to mental illness (possibly bipolar disorder) and committed suicide. His fame grew rapidly after his death especially following a showing of 71 of van Gogh's paintings in Paris on March 17, 1901 (11 years after his death). Properly the name rhymes with loch, but it is also pronounced 'goph', 'go' and 'goe'.)
Van Gogh's influence on expressionism, fauvism and early abstraction was enormous, and can be seen in many other aspects of 20th-century art. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is dedicated to Van Gogh's work and that of his contemporaries.
Several paintings by Van Gogh rank among the most expensive paintings in the world. On March 30, 1987 Van Gogh's painting Irises was sold for a record $53.9 million at Southeby's, New York. On May 15, 1990 his Portrait of Doctor Gachet was sold for $82.5 million at Christie's, thus establishing a new price record.
(Vincent van Gogh Biography © 2005 Chuck Ayoub)


Irises
Oil on canvas , 1889
Getty Museum, Malibu, California
From artchive


IN the asylum at Saint-Rémy, between attacks, van Gogh devoted himself to his art with a desperate determination, knowing that this alone might save him. He called painting "the lightning conductor for my illness". And observing his continued ability to paint, he felt sure that he was not really a madman.
The Irises (above) are perhaps the first subject he did in the asylum. It preceded his first attack there and at first glance shows no evident trace of that moodiness and high tension which appear in many of the later works. He paints the flowers with admiration and joy.
The profusion of elements in this closely-packed picture is tamed and ordered for the eye without loss of freedom by the division of the canvas into fairly distinct, large regions of colour approaching symmetry: the cold leaf-green in the middle, the iris- blue above and beneath, and in two corners the red ground and the distant warm green, touched with yellow, orange, and white. Each region has its own characteristic shapes and spotting, and all are luminous.
Interesting in the high-keyed colour is that the strongest note, the iris-blue, is the darkest and has also the greatest range from light to dark. In mass of colour, the chief contrast is of this blue with the mild, dilute blue-green of the leaves; their complementary contrasts with red and yellow are secondary and reserved for the margins of the picture. All this helps to temper the luxuriant natural bouquet and to produce a closer, muted harmony, while preserving a gay colourfulness and richness.
Most original is the drawing of the irises. Unlike the Impressionist flower pieces in which the plants are formless spots of colour, these are carefully studied for their shapes and individualized, with the same sincerity and precision as van Gogh's portraits; he discovers an endless variety of curved silhouettes, a new source of movement, in what might easily have become a static ornamental repetition of the same motif. These wavy, flaming twisted, and curling lines, broken and pointed, anticipate the later works done at Saint-Rémy.
(From Meyer Schapiro, "Vincent Van Gogh")


Doctor Gachet
vincentvangoghart.net


Perhaps one of the most fascinating figures in the history of Impressionism, Dr Paul Gachethe (1828-1909), above, was a doctor who specialized in homeopathy, a psychiatrist, an engraver, a Darwinian, a Socialist and a consistently helpful and generous patron and friend to all those artists with whom he came into contact. As a young student in Paris he had frequented the Brasserie des Martyrs, and after concluding his medical studies at Montpellier he became a frequenter of the seminal Café Guerbois. He bought a house at Auvers-sur-Oise and, in his studio there, became an enthusiastic engraver, partly as a consequence of his earlier contacts with Daumier, Charles Méryon and Rodolphe Bresdin, artists whose styles were reflected in his own. He signed his works `Paul van Ryssel', deriving the surname from his native village near Lille.
It was in this studio that several of the Impressionists took up etching: Cézanne produced there an etching of Guillaumin, as well as painting a number of flower pieces arranged in Delft vases for him by the doctor's wife. On the recommendation of Pissarro, Gachet took Vincent van Gogh into his house in 1890, and it was in Auvers that he committed suicide. Gachet's great collection of paintings by all the major figures of the movement was given to the state by his son and is now in the Musée d'Orsay.
(vincentvangoghart.net)
When he was 16, Vincent started to work for the art dealer Goupil & Co. in The Hague. His four years younger brother Theo, with whom Vincent cherished a life long friendship, would join the company later. This friendship is amply documented in a vast amount of letters they sent each other. These letters have been preserved and were published in 1914. They provide a lot of insight into the life of the painter, and show him to be a talented writer with a keen mind. Theo would support Vincent financially throughout his life.
In 1873, his firm transferred him to London, then to Paris. He became increasingly interested in religion; in 1876 Goupil dismissed him for lack of motivation. He became a teaching assistant in Ramsgate near London, then returned to Amsterdam to study theology in 1877.
After dropping out in 1878, he became a layman preacher in Belgium in a poor mining region known as the Borinage. He even preached down in the mines and was extremely concerned with the lot of the workers. He was dismissed after 6 months and continued without pay. During this period he started to produce charcoal sketches.
(Vincent van Gogh Biography © 2005 Chuck Ayoub)


The Van Gogh house
The house where Van Gogh stayed in Cuesmes in 1880
While living here he decided to become an artist
By Jean-Pol GRANDMONT
From Wikipedia


In 1880, Vincent van Gogh followed the suggestion of his brother Theo and took up painting in earnest. For a brief period Vincent took painting lessons from Anton Mauve at The Hague. Although Vicent and Anton soon split over divergence of artistic views, influences of the Hague School of painting would remain in Vincents work, notably in the way he played with light and in the looseness of his brush strokes. However his usage of colours, favouring dark tones, set him apart from his teacher.
In 1881 he declared his love to his widowed cousin Kee Vos, who rejected him. Later he would move in with the prostitute Sien Hoornik and her children and considered marrying her; his father was strictly against this relationship and even his brother Theo advised against it. They later separated.


A Girl in White in the Woods
Oil on canvas, 1882
Kroller-Muller Museum
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


Carpenter's Workshop, Seen from the Artist's Studio
Oil on canvas laid down on panel, 1882
Kroller-Muller Museum
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


Woman Miners Carrying Coal
Watercolor heightened with white on paper, 1882
Kroller-Muller Museum
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


Seashore at Scheveningen, August 1882
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


The Loom, May 1884
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


Still Life with Four Jugs, November 1884
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


Impressed and influenced by Jean-Francois Millet, van Gogh focussed on painting peasants and rural scenes. He moved to the Dutch province Drenthe, later to Nuenen, North Brabant, also in The Netherlands. In the winter of 1885-1886 Van Gogh attended the art academy of Antwerp, Belgium. This proved a disappointment as he was dismissed after a few months by his Professor. Van Gogh did however get in touch with Japanese art during this period, which he started to collect eagerly. He admired its bright colors, use of canvas space and the role lines played in the picture. These impressions would influence him strongly. Van Gogh made some painting in Japanese style. Also some of the portraits he painted are set against a background which shows Japanese art.
(Vincent van Gogh Biography © 2005 Chuck Ayoub)
He was largely self-taught as an artist, although he received help from his cousin, Mauve. His first works were heavily painted, mud-colored and clumsy attempts to represent the life of the poor (e.g. Potato-Eaters, 1885, Amsterdam), influenced by one of his artistic heroes, Millet.
(The Bulfinch Guide to Art History)


The Potato Eaters, 1885
Oil on canvas
Vincent van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
From artchive


Peasant Man and Woman Planting Potatoes, April 1885
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


A Peasant Woman in White Cap, May 1885
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


Peasant Woman, March 1885
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


Lane with Poplars
Oil on canvas, 1885
Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


He moved to Paris in 1886, living with his devoted brother, Theo, who, as a dealer, introduced him to artists like Gauguin, Pissarro, Seurat and Toulouse-Lautrec. In Paris, he discovered color as well as the divisionist ideas which helped to create the distinctive dashed brushstrokes of his later work (e.g. Pere Tanguy).
(The Bulfinch Guide to Art History)


Terrace of the Caf?? "La Guinguuette", October 1886
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


View of Paris from Montmartre, 1886
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


Montmartre: the Quarry and Windmills
Oil on canvas, 1886
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


Montmartre: the Quarry and Windmills
Oil on board, 1886
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


Le Moulin de la Galette
Oil on canvas, 1886
Public collection
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


Le Moulin de Blute-Fin
Oil on canvas, 1886
Bridgestone Museum of Art
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


Le Moulin de la Galette
Oil on canvas, 1886
Kroller-Muller Museum
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


Montmartre, Paris, Autumn 1886
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


Restaurant Rispal at Asni??res, 1887
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


Paris Seen from Vincent's Room in the Rue Lepic, 1887
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


On the Outskirts of Paris, 1887
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


The Seine with the Pont de la Grande Jatte, Summer 1887
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


Portrait of Pere Tanguy, 1887-88
Oil on canvas
Musee Rodin, Paris
From artchive


Self-Portrait in a Grey Felt Hat, 1887
oilpaintingsworld.com International Inc


Self Portrait
Oil on canvas, 1887
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


Self-portrait
Oil on cardboard , spring 1887
Location The Art Institute of Chicago
From Wikipedia


Le Moulin de la Galette
Oil on canvas, 1887
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


He and his brother shared a house on Montmartre. Here he met the painters Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Bernard, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin. He discovered impressionism and liked its use of light and color, more than its lack of social engagement (as he saw it). Especially the technique known as pointillism (where many small dots are applied to the canvas that blend into rich colors only in the eye of the beholder, seeing it from a distance) made its mark on Van Goghs own style. It should be noted that Van Gogh is regarded as a post-impressionist, rather than an impressionist.
(The Bulfinch Guide to Art History)
He moved to Arles, in the south of France, in 1888, hoping to establish an artists' colony there, and was immediately struck by the hot reds and yellows of the Mediterranean, which he increasingly used symbolically to represent his own moods (e.g. Sunflowers, 1888). He was joined briefly by Gauguin in October 1888, and managed in some works to combine his own ideas with the latter's Synthetism (e.g. The Sower, 1888, Amsterdam), but the visit was not a success. A final argument led to the infamous episode in which Van Gogh mutilated his ear.
(The Bulfinch Guide to Art History)


Fifteen Sunflowers in a Vase
Oil on canvas , 1888
National Gallery, London
From artchive


View of Arles with Irises, 1888
Vincent van Gogh Biography © 2005 Chuck Ayoub


Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers by Paul Gauguin
Oil on canvas, 1888
Private collection


Sower with Setting Sun
Oil on canvas, 1888
Rijksmuseum Krueller-Mueller, Otterlo
From artchive


Sower with Setting Sun (above) represents Van Gogh's first attempt to make an original contribution to modern art since his art studies in Paris. Its originality was to lie in the violent juxtaposition of bold colours, which he tried to achieve by painting the top part of the picture predominantly yellow and the lower part in complementary violet. The sower's trousers are white to 'allow the eye to rest and distract it from the excessive contrast between yellow and violet together' Van Gogh was following the advice given in Charles Blanc's Grammaire des arts du dessin that white can be used in combination with strong colours to rest the eye, 'to provide relief and reduce the dazzling impact of the picture as a whole'.
Although Van Gogh had faithfully adhered to the artistic principles he so firmly believed in, he was disappointed with the result. On around 24 June, his confidence somewhat shaken, he made various changes to the painting. He softened the contrast between the complementaries by mixing green into the yellow sky and orange into the field. The white of the sower's trousers, though useful as a device to rest the eye, was nevertheless an odd colour for a peasant's working clothes, and he subsequently changed it to blue. As a final gesture, Van Gogh then painted a surround in complementary colours violet around the yellow sky and yellow around the violet field - presumably in the hope of salvaging at least part of his original idea. He radically recast his own sower after the example of Millet's figure, moved it further from the centre of the composition, and painted out the trees on the horizon to the right of the sun.
However, reworking the canvas failed to produce the result he had anticipated, and he referred to it as a 'failure' and a 'glorified study'. In spite of his disappointment, the motif continued to haunt him. By December he had made four more attempts at it. Probably under the influence of Gauguin, he sought to imbue his adaptation of Millet's example with fresh vitality by working on the form rather than the colours. The solution he found to the problem in his last version was innovative and evidently a source of satisfaction. 'Once in a while (there is) a canvas which will make a true painting,'he wrote to Theo, 'such as that sower, which I also think is better than the first one'
(From J. van der Wolk, "Vincent Van Gogh: Paintings and Drawings")
“My God, if only I had known this country at 25, instead of coming here at 35.” That was Vincent van Gogh, freshly arrived in southern France, with its aromatic fields and star-spilling skies, in 1888. He was writing to his artist-friend Émile Bernard, 15 years his junior.
And he kept writing. On the train through Provence from Paris, his eyes glued to the window, he saw countryside “as beautiful as Japan for the limpidity of the atmosphere and the gay color effects.” Settled in the town of Arles, he stood all day in wheat fields painting “in the full heat of the sun, without any shade whatever, and there you are, I revel in it like a cicada.”
After a year in ashen Paris, he was in a chromatic delirium. He couldn’t stop cataloging the colors he was seeing and using. A painting of an orchard has a “white tree, a small green tree, a lilac field, an orange roof, a big blue sky.”
('Friendship in Letters and Paint' By HOLLAND COTTER at The New York Times)


Orchard with Blossoming Apricot Trees
Oil on Canvas, March, 1888
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
From Van Gogh Gallery


The Old Mill, 1888
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
From Wikipedia


The colors and light of the south were an inspiration to him, and van Gogh created more than two hundred paintings in fifteen months. Although the above work is called The Old Mill, it had most likely by that time been converted into a farmhouse. The farms and fertile fields of the area can be seen in the background, as well as the Arpilles mountains north of Arles, and a pale green sky. In the foreground, a man and a woman stop to talk near the quick-flowing stream.
Van Gogh’s major contribution to the history of modern art was his use of color. He was one of the first artists to free color from a merely descriptive function; that is, objects did not have to be reproduced on canvas in their natural colors. Van Gogh had specific and well thought out theories of painting, which were clearly articulated in hundreds of letters to his brother and friends. He wanted to represent emotions through the use of color, line, texture, and light — how he felt about a particular scene or subject. This painting represents his joy in the colors, beauty, light, and warmth of the south.
Van Gogh was often criticized for working too quickly. However, a closer look at The Old Mill will reveal the care with which the brushstrokes were applied. He used various types of brushstrokes for different parts of the landscape: for example, short directional ones for the foliage; long, vertical ones for the purple fence posts; and smooth, curved strokes for the sky. Van Gogh wrote that he thought about each painting at length in advance, thus could work quickly when he finally began to paint. For this reason, he said, "when anyone says that such and such is done too quickly…they have looked at it too quickly."
There are many misconceptions about Vincent van Gogh. He is often viewed as a tragic hero whose genius was cut down prematurely by his suicide at age thirty-seven. There is no doubt that he suffered from some sort of illness that caused periods of irrational behavior, especially late in his life. Although no one will ever know with certainty, the most widely accepted theory is that he suffered from some form of epilepsy, perhaps compounded by digitalis poisoning, glaucoma, over-consumption of absinthe, or syphilis. When suffering from an attack, van Gogh could not paint, although work done during his periods of lucidity often reflect his suffering. It is important to remember, however, that many of his paintings — including The Old Mill —represent joy rather than suffering.
('Seeing Feelings' was written by Nancy Spector and Mariann Smith at Allbright-knox Art Gallery)
Vincent van Gogh was 'a stark, staring crank'. Contemporary descriptions of the artist by his friends are rare, and this example was published for the first time in the original English. It came from a letter written on 17 April 1888 by the American painter Dodge MacKnight (1860-1950), who was staying in the village of Fontvieille, ten kilometres north-east of Aries. He was writing to his Belgian artist friend Eugene Boch (1855-1941), who would shortly be joining him in Provence.
In the letter, MacKnight wrote that he had tracked down two artists in Aries, Christian Mourier-Petersen (1858-1945), a Dane, and 'Vincent--whom I had already met at Russell's--a stark, staring crank, but a good fellow.' We also have Van Gogh's account of the encounter: he wrote--in English--to a mutual friend in Paris, the Australian artist John Russell (1858-1930), that 'last Sunday (April) I have met MacKnight and a Danish painter and I intend to go to see him at Fonvieille (sic) next Monday.' He and MacKnight had differing opinions on modern art, and Van Gogh added: 'I feel sure I shall prefer him as an artist to what he is as an art critic, his views as such being so narrow that they make me smile.'
MacKnight's description of the artist is pithy--and rings true. Van Gogh inspired considerable loyalty and affection, although these qualities are all too often forgotten when we read of the rows that he had with friends. Yet he was also an awkward companion, with a cranky side to his character. On occasions, this expressed itself in most destructive ways, as Paul Gauguin would discover.
Gauguin joined Van Gogh in the Yellow House in Arles on 23 October 1888, and for two months they lived and worked under the same roof. There, they had intense discussions about art, and painted together, often tackling the same subjects. But tensions quickly developed, and suddenly worsened in December. On 23 December 1888 Vincent severed part of his ear and presented it to a prostitute. Thus ended their collaboration.
(By Martin Bailey at CBS Interactive Inc)


The Yellow House, 1888
Van Gogh Museum
From Wikipedia


The Langlois Bridge at Arles with Women Washing
Oil on canvas, 1888
Kroller-Muller Museum
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


Bedroom in Arles, 1888
Van Gogh Museum
From Wikipedia


The Night Café, 1888
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven
From Wikipedia


The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night
September 1888
Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Holland
From Wikipedia


Van Gogh's Chair, 1888
National Gallery, London
From Wikipedia


Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
From Wikipedia


The Langlois Bridge at Arles, 1888
From Paint Your Life


During his lifetime Van Gogh was never famous as a painter and struggled to make a living as an artist. Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime The Red Vineyard. This painting sold in Brussels for 400 Francs only a few months before his death.
(Van Gogh Gallery)


The Red Vineyard, November 1888
Pushkin Museum, Moscow)
Sold to Anna Boch, 1890
From Wikipedia


Gauguin did indeed write to Theo van Gogh, his Parisian dealer, who was financially supporting him in Aries. He explained that he and Van Gogh 'cannot not live side by side without turmoil resulting from our temperamental incompatibility.' Van Gogh also wrote to his brother, admitting that Gauguin was 'a little out of sorts with the good town of Aries, the little yellow house where we work, and especially with me'.
(By Martin Bailey at CBS Interactive Inc)


Self-portrait, 1889
private collection
Mirror-image self portrait with bandaged ear


In 1889, he became a voluntary patient at the St. Remy asylum, where he continued to paint, often making copies of artists he admired. His palette softened to mauves and pinks, but his brushwork was increasingly agitated, the dashes constructed into swirling, twisted shapes, often seen as symbolic of his mental state (e.g. Ravine, 1889, Otterlo). He moved to Auvers, to be closer to Theo in 1890 - his last 70 days spent in a hectic program of painting.
(The Bulfinch Guide to Art History)


The Ravine
Oil on canvas, 1889
Rijksmuseum Kroeller-Mueller, Otterlo
From artchive


Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background, 1889
Museum of Modern Art, New York


Wheat Field with Cypresses, 1889
National Gallery, London
From Wikipedia


View of Arles, Flowering Orchards, 1889
From Wikipedia


Self Portrait, 1889
From Paint Your Life


Self-Portrait
Oil on canvas , 1889
Musee d'Orsay, Paris
From artchive


The last of his self-portraits (above) and one of the greatest, was painted only months before his death. The compulsive, restless all-over ornament of the background, recalling the work of mental patients, is for some physicians an evidence that the painting was done in a psychotic state. But the self-image of the painter shows a masterly control and power of observation, a mind perfectly capable of integrating the elements of its chosen activity. The background reminds us of the rhythms of The Starry Night, which the portrait resembles also in the dominating bluish tone of the work. The flowing, pulsing forms of the background, schemata of sustained excitement, are not just ornament, although related to the undulant forms of the decorative art of the 1890's; they are unconfined by a fixed rhythm or pattern and are a means of intensity, rather, an overflow of the artist's feelings to his surroundings. Beside the powerful modelling of the head and bust, so compact and weighty, the wall pattern appears a pale, shallow ornament. Yet the same rhythms occur in the figure and even in the head, which are painted in similar close-packed, coiling, and wavy lines. As we shift our attention from the man to his surroundings and back again, the analogies are multiplied; the nodal points, or centres, in the background ornament begin to resemble more the eyes and ear and buttons of the figure. In all this turmoil and congested eddying motion, we sense the extraordinary firmness of the painter's hand. The acute contrasts of the reddish beard and the surrounding blues and greens, the probing draughtsmanship, the liveness of the tense features, the perfectly ordered play of breaks, variations, and continuities, the very stable proportioning of the areas of the work - all these point to a superior mind, however disturbed and apprehensive the artist's feelings.
(From Meyer Schapiro, "Vincent Van Gogh")


The Starry Night
Oil on canvas , 1889
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
From artchive


'The Starry Night' (above) was not Van Gogh's first depiction of a night sky. In Arles, he had been proud of his painting of the stars and the reflection of the lights of the town in the River Rhône, one of the first results of a plan intimated to Emile Bernard in April 1888. He wanted to paint a starry night as an example of working from the imagination, which could add to the value of a painting: 'we may succeed in creating a more exciting and comforting nature than we can discern with a single glimpse of reality', he wrote. In a letter to Theo of the same date, Vincent was more explicit about the motif: 'a starry night with cypresses or possibly above a field of ripe wheat'. With his 'Starry Night', painted in Saint-Rémy, he fulfilled that promise and did so at a time when he was more determined than ever to prove himself the equal of his fellow artists.
Van Gogh also mentioned as a joint aim 'a kind of painting giving greater consolation'. This supremely religious aspiration was no longer related to the religious ethic for Van Gogh. His insistence that the canvases were not a return 'to romanticism or to religious ideas', though somewhat puzzling at first, was intended only to show that the works had nothing in common with earlier mystic paintings. He had once admired religious subjects from ancient art, but he now considered that the feeling of solace should primarily be evoked by the colour and design of representations of nature. 'The Starry Night' should be seen as based on religious ideas only in this specific sense.
The artistic solution chosen by Van Gogh for these canvases lay in a compelling form of stylisation. The landscape with hills - in which he had attempted 'to render the time of day when you see the green beetles and cicadas fly up in the heat' and 'The Starry Night' were, he wrote later, 'exaggerations in terms of composition' with lines 'warped as in old woodcuts'. Van Gogh was referring to the somewhat primitive, coarse illustrations in the household edition of the works of Dickens rather than to the carefully executed wood engravings in contemporary magazines. in the drawings which he also made after these paintings, this abstraction has been taken a step further.
'The Starry Night' in particular was an attempt by Van Gogh to create a masterpiece on a par with the very stylised work of Gauguin and Bernard. The graphic style adopted by Van Gogh was not an obvious choice to achieve a nocturnal effect in which surfaces and silhouettes would normally play a greater role than lines. The style is in this sense rather artificial, and the same can be said of the scene itself, put together as it is from different studies from nature.
Van Gogh may have had doubts about the painting, but subsequent commentators have elevated 'The Starry Night' to a place among his most exceptional and important works. The combination of style and religious overtones has fuelled endless critical debate. Several authors have investigated the extent to which Van Gogh's night sky is true to life, but the science of astronomy has failed to produce an unambiguous answer. In the light of Van Gogh's opinions this is hardly surprising: he was permitting himself the artistic freedom which Bernard and Gauguin also exploited.
(By J. van der Wolk in "Vincent Van Gogh: Paintings and Drawings")

Irises in Vase
Oil on canvas , 1890
Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam


Irises Pink/Green
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Vincent van Gogh died at the age of 37 bringing his career as a painter to an end, but beginning his legacy as the great painter of the future who inspired the world. About a week after his death, Van Gogh’s brother Theo wrote to his sister Elizabeth about Van Gogh’s legacy as a great artist, “In the last letter which he wrote me and which dates from some four days before his death, it says, “I try to do as well as certain painters whom I have greatly loved and admired.” People should realize that he was a great artist, something which often coincides with being a great human being. In the course of time this will surely be acknowledged, and many will regret his early death.”
(Van Gogh Gallery)
Vincent van Gogh had an eccentric personality and unstable moods, suffered from recurrent psychotic episodes during the last 2 years of his extraordinary life, and committed suicide at the age of 37. Despite limited evidence, well over 150 physicians have ventured a perplexing variety of diagnoses of his illness. Henri Gastaut, in a study of the artist’s life and medical history published in 1956, identified van Gogh’s major illness during the last 2 years of his life as temporal lobe epilepsy precipitated by the use of absinthe in the presence of an early limbic lesion. In essence, Gastaut confirmed the diagnosis originally made by the French physicians who had treated van Gogh. However, van Gogh had earlier suffered two distinct episodes of reactive depression, and there are clearly bipolar aspects to his history. Both episodes of depression were followed by sustained periods of increasingly high energy and enthusiasm, first as an evangelist and then as an artist. The highlights of van Gogh’s life and letters are reviewed and discussed in an effort toward better understanding of the complexity of his illness.
(The Illness of Vincent van Gogh, Dietrich Blumer, M.D. at Am J Psychiatry 159:519-526, April 2002, © 2002 American Psychiatric Association)



Here lies Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
From waymark gallery


6 comments:

razaTimes said...

Thank you for bringing to my eyes a glimpse at the world and paintings of Vincent. Have bookmarked and will read every word.
Jose "El Chato"
Aztlan, en Omaha, Nebraska

rompedas said...

You're welcome Jose "El Chato", thank you.

Visceral said...

I'm taking painting classes for first time in my life and searching about Van Gogh and I found this website, wich I think is great ^^

I'll continue reading =)

Visceral said...

btw... wonder If you know the name of a painting that is a kind of white house (with dark-red roof), which in one of the wall says "Auvers ---" (I can't remember), and it seems there's a kind of beach because I can see water in the bottom and... there¡s a train in the background.
I just can't find it and I like it very much :(

rompedas said...

Dear Visceral,
Thanks for writing in. Good luck in your future learning ang painting. I guess I'll have to find out more about this 'white house (with dark-red roof)' painting. I'll try to keep you posted on this. Thank you.....

rompedas said...

Dear Visceral,
On the 'white house (with dark-red roof)' painting, 'Landscape with Carriage and Train in the Background' is the closest to this description. Please look into http://www.vggallery.com/painting/p_0760.htm for the painting 'Landscape with Carriage and Train in the Background', Oil on canvas, Auvers-sur-Oise: June, 1890 Moscow: Pushkin Museum