Saturday, February 5, 2011

A smidgen of Art Hsitory.... Vincent Van Gogh

This painting inspires an emotional response, an intense one. You can nearly feel the drowsey warmth of the sun, the lazy gentle summer breeze and smell the fresh air. Almost hear the gurgle of the brook and the rustle of the Wheat in the breeze. The beautiful amber tones of the grasses and the stone walls, the Sea glass colour of the sky, the rich greens of hedgerows and feilds. It is because of this seemingly effortless ability that  Vincent VanGoghs is considered one of the worlds premier post impressionists and his genius is so very apparent in every painting he produced.

Van Gogh left this world by his own hand at the age of 37. Although he was, as we know now , an artist of singular ability and extraordinary vision, he was mostly unnoticed in his own lifetime.

Van Gogh was mostly self taught, in fact, thought he did draw a little for many years he didn't begin to paint until 1882, at the age of 29. He had a unique ability to create texture and movement with ease. There is a fluidity to every brush stroke.

His art is full of passion, and life and reflects a vibrant tone of Optimism and wonder, and yet the mind that created these beautiful works and vingettes of rural european life, was a very troubled one. Van Gogh suffered terribly from bouts of depression and was frequently institutionalized. In fact many of his lovely landscapes were painted from the window of his cell .  His  self destructive behavior  and mental illness is oddly seldom reflected in his work.

Even when he used darker colours, like this one, "Starry Night Over the Rhone" it did not reflect the troubled mind of the genius that created it. It was only in the days leading up to his death in 1890 that his work took on a somber and bleak appearance.

He is credited with Over  900 Paintings and 1200 Sketches and Watercolours and todays technology has shown via xray ,that he in fact painted over many pieces, hinding from us a large part of his work.

Just a smidgen of Art History......

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