vincent van gogh

Topics: Vincent van Gogh, Self-portrait, Pointillism Pages: 6 (2051 words) Published: February 27, 2014

Vincent Van Gogh’s Work of Art

Anh Le

Humanities 1301
Professor Philip Noguere
02 December 2013

Anh Le
Professor Noguere
Humanities 1301
02 December 2013
Vincent Van Gogh’s Work of Art
Vincent Van Gogh is a unique and outstanding artist who had a dramatic life that affected his paintings. At the age of twenty-seven, Vincent decided to devote his life for art because “Vincent believed in the power of art. To him, a work of art, whether drawing or painting, had as striking an “effect” as a live sermon or a letter”( Zurcher 17) .Van Gogh started his work of art with drawing. Vincent sent Theo, his brother, some of his drawings such as Au Charbonnage (At the Coalmines), Miner Shouldering a Spade or Men and Women Going to the Mines. He drew everything he saw in everyday life. The miners and weavers usually appeared in his drawings. In the letter to his brother, Theo, he told him about his sympathy for these people :“ I should be very happy if someday I could draw them, so that those unknown or little-known types would be brought before the eyes of the people”(20). In summer of 1882, he started paintings in oils. Vincent often paints “ the simplest, most miserable, most scorned objects” such as old shoes or “ loamy” potatoes. (Huyghe 61). Vincent painted with dark and sorrowful colors. At the end of 1882, he experiments with lithography. He created a series of ten graphic works: nine lithographs and one etching. In the letter to his brother Theo, Vincent told him about drawing: Sorrow is one of Van Gogh's lithographs. The special thing about this lithograph is that it was originally a painting about a naked prostitute " sitting with flabby breasts, heavy stomach, thin and stiff hair and weeping with her head on her knees" (Huyghe 36). Vincent also decided to do a lithograph based on the painting The Potato Eaters. The Potato Eaters is his first major work. It depicted five miserable family members, who were peasants, gathered around the table, eating their potatoes in the end of a day. Vincent wanted to attain the moral value in this painting: " I have tried to emphasize that those people , eating their potatoes in the lamplight, have dug the earth with those very hands they put in the dish, and so it speaks of manual labor, and how they have honestly earned their food" (Zurcher 88).

Van Gogh’s only etching, L'Homme à la Pipe: Portrait du Docteur Gache,depicted Dr. Paul Gachet, a doctor and friend of Van Gogh’s who took care of him in the final weeks of his life. In 1886, Vincent moved to Paris, where he met his brother Theo, and he also made friends with Guaguin, Pissarro and Seurat. He discovered the French Impressionist. However, through Monticelli, he “discovered both flowers and colour" (Huyghe 63). And through his new friends,  he brightened his palette. The Moulin de la Galette is yellower in tone but still muted in spite of a pale sky. The hill of Montmartre was treated more conventionally; the painting was dominated by green and yellow ( Zurcher 114). During 1887, Vincent created more than twenty-two self- portraits. The reason for this large amounts of his self-portraits was as though he wanted to rediscovered himself physically after he changed his style in art . Another reason is that Vincent Van Gogh was short of money, therefore, he became his own subject: “I purposely bought a good enough mirror to work from myself, for want of a model". Self -portrait with a Straw Hat painted in the summer of 1887 " show the artist's awareness of Neo-Impressionists technique and color theory" ( The Metropolitan Museum of Art), " the background is sketched in by means of very widely spaced, comma- like strokes" ( Zurcher 115). In 1888, he moved to Arles. Vincent was affected by the strong sunlight and he became " the prey of the sun" , " he burst out with spring, reached his highest point during summer and discovered July and...

Cited: Stein, Susan. Van Gogh : a retrospective . New York: 1986. Print.
Zurcher , Bernard. Vincent Van Gogh : art , life and letters . New York : 1985. Print.
Huyghe, René . Van Gogh. NewYork: 1979. Print.
"Vincent Van Gogh-A history in Self Portraits." Artyfactory. N.p.. Web. 2 Dec 2013. .
"Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat (obverse: The Potato Peeler)." The Metropolitan Museum of Art. N.p.. Web. 2 Dec 2013.
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