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Vincent Van Gogh

Topics: Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night / Pages: 4 (833 words) / Published: Jul 14th, 2013
Year 10 Portraiture
Case study/Essay
Visual Arts
Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh was born 30th March, 1853, in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. Vincent used expressionistic colour, line and composition to record his life experiences, the people he encountered and the many disappointments he felt.
Vincent’s father, Theodorus van Gogh, was an austere country minister, and his mother, Anna Cornelia Carbentus, was a moody artist whose love of nature, drawing and watercolours was transferred to her son. At age 15, van Gogh's family was struggling financially, and he was forced to leave school and go to work. He got a job at his Uncle Cornelis’ art dealership, Goupil & Cie., a firm of art dealers in The Hague. By this time, van Gogh was fluent in French, German and English, as well as his native Dutch. In June of 1873, van Gogh was transferred to the Groupil Gallery in London. He fell in love with his landlady’s daughter, Eugenie Loyer. When she rejected his marriage proposal, van Gogh suffered a breakdown. He threw away all his books except for the Bible, and devoted his life to God. He became angry with people at work, telling customers not to buy the "worthless art," and was eventually fired. In the fall of 1880, van Gogh decided to move to Brussels and become an artist. Though he had no formal art training, his younger brother Theo, who worked as an art dealer, offered to support van Gogh financially. In February 1888, van Gogh boarded a train to the south of France. He moved into the "little yellow house" and spent his money on paint rather than food, and found himself feeling sick and strange. Before long, it became apparent that in addition to suffering from physical illness, his psychological heal. After the people of Arles signed a petition saying that van Gogh was dangerous, he decided to move to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
On July 27, 1890, van Gogh went out to paint in the morning as usual, but he carried a loaded pistol. He shot himself in the chest, but the bullet did not kill him. He was found bleeding in his room. Van Gogh was taken to a nearby hospital and his doctors sent for Theo, who arrived to find his brother sitting up in bed and smoking a pipe. They spent the next couple of days talking together, and then van Gogh asked Theo to take him home. On July 29, 1890, Vincent van Gogh died in the arms of his brother. He was 37 years old.
Van Gogh firmly believed that to be a great painter you had to first master drawing before adding color. Over the years Van Gogh clearly mastered drawing and began to use more color. In time, one of the most recognizable aspects of Van Gogh’s paintings became his bold use of color.

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh has risen to the peak of artistic achievements. Although Van Gogh sold only one painting in his life, the aftermath of his work is enormous. Starry Night is one of the most well known images in modern culture as well as being one of the most replicated and sought after prints. People begin to ask what features within the painting make it so notable and for its ever growing popularity. There are actually several main aspects that intrigue those who view this image such as:
1.
* There is the night sky filled with swirling clouds * stars ablaze with their own luminescence * a bright crescent moon.

Although the features are exaggerated, this is a scene we can all relate to, and also one that most individuals feel comfortable and at ease with. This sky keeps the viewer’s eyes moving about the painting, following the curves and creating a visual dot to dot with the stars. This movement keeps the onlooker involved in the painting while the other factors take hold.
2.
* Below the rolling hills of the horizon lies a small town. There is a peaceful essence flowing from the structures. Perhaps the cool dark colours and the fiery window spark memories of our own childhood years filled with imagination of what exists in the night and dark starry skies. The centre point of the town is the tall steeple of the church, reigning largely over the smaller buildings. This steeple casts down a sense of stability onto the town, and also creates a sense of size and seclusion. * To the left of the painting there is a massive dark structure that develops an even greater sense of size and location. The curving lines mirror that of the sky and create the sensation of depth in the painting.

In my opinion, the painting ‘Starry Night’ is quite interesting with the use of texture, features and detail. The best feature in my belief is the sky; the swirls create such enthusiasm to the painting, and gives the illusion of such a magical sky.

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