Vincent Van Gogh

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 126
  • Published : January 6, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
The purpose of my essay is to analyze Vincent van Gogh’s work. The painter who was the greatest Dutch painter of the nineteenth century, who tried to express his world view up to the point in his life when madness captured him, he wrote down everything to his brother, Theo. He sold out only one painting in his life, however he has got more than one painting which is among the most expensive paintings in the world nowadays. I will focus on the paintings that were inseparable from his name, namely The Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, and Starry Night. Vincent van Gogh was born in Groot-Zundert, The Netherlands on 30 March 1853. He had five siblings, but he managed to develop a strong relationship only with Theo who was his only supporter both physically and materially. Vincent painted to Theo, his brother’s and his cousin’s, Anton Mauve (also a painter) encouragement. After he and his father had an arguement and he moved to The Hague, where he furnished a studio with Theo’s help. There he could learn about painting in privacy. He met with Japanese woodcuts, and he copied some of them. His family broke the contact with him because of an unfortunate love case. In 1885 his father died and then his family –except Theo- kept aloof. He kept in touch with Theo and all through their life they corresponded. About 650 letters survived, but they lived together in Paris, so it is difficult to collect details about this period. In February, 1888 he moved to Arles and when he was there, he felt lonely, so he asked Gauguin to visit him. Gauguin arrived to Arles on 23rd October 1888. In the beginning, they could work together, but van Gogh’s nerves were increasingly tenser, the strained work and the inconvenient lifestyle were threatening with an explosion. They quarreled increasingly much and on 23rd December 1888 van Gogh attacked Gauguin with a razor on the ground who finally escaped. Van Gogh went home then, and chopped off one of his earlobes with a razor. He got into an asylum. He suffered from bipolar disorder (or manic depression). A bipolar disorder patient goes through exceptionally extreme mood fluctuations which may even last for months. The hallucinations and the epileptic attacks followed the period of calmness. In January 1889 he left the hospital. In May he travelled to the sanatorium of Saint-Remy, and later he felt into hysterics and for three weeks lost his consciousness. He realized that he was incurable. He had long, painful attacks, but even so he worked a lot. Theo spent his time beside his dying brother, Vincent, who died on 29. July 1890. His last wish was to bury him in The Netherlands. His friends overwhelmed his bier with sunflowers. The 50’s was the heyday of realism in Courbet’s interpretation. In the 60’s the ‘plein air’ endeavors unfolded and the age’s representative painter, Manet’s artistic development. The 70’s was the triumph of impressionism, Monet’s years. In the 80’s the impressionist wave decreased, already this was the postimpressionist and the symbolist generation’s era, the decades of Cézanne, Seurat, Gauguin and Van Gogh. About Post-Impressionism: “The term was coined in 1910 by Roger Fry in the title of an exhibition of modern French painters, organized by Fry in London. Most of the artists in the exhibition were younger than the Impressionists. Fry later explained: “For purposes of convenience, it was necessary to give these artists a name, and I chose, as being the vaguest and most non-committal, the name of Post-Impressionism. This merely stated their position in time relatively to the Impressionist movement.”[1] The non-uniform style of Post-Impressionisms a “category” for those fine art endeavors, which set out from impressionism though with a different aim, but it is developed diversely. Post-Impressionism is the culmination of Impressionism. As we cannot talk about Impressionist architecture or handicrafts we also cannot talk about these Post-Impressionist equivalents. Despite...
tracking img