Friday, April 25, 2014

V = Van Gogh, Vincent, A Complex Man - A to Z Challenge

ART: Artists, Art Trivia, Art Legends

ART focuses on artists and art movements between the 1850's-1960's. An artist of unusual vision is featured today, Vincent van Gogh, who saw movement in his surroundings and a particulate world, full of energy. 


Self Portrait with felt Hat, Vincent Van Gogh, c. 1880s


V = Vincent van Gogh
1853 - 1890


Vincent Willem van Gogh was a post-Impressionist painter of Dutch origin. He came to Paris in March of 1886 to share a Rue Laval apartment in Montmartre with his brother and to study at a local studio. In June, they moved to a larger apartment further uphill at 54 Rue Lepic. This address still exists today and has a small plaque on the building near the front door advising that Vincent and Leo once lived here. In Paris, Vincent painted views of Moulin de la Galette, Montmartre scenes, and locations by the Seine River.



Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888 by Van Gogh

Van Gogh didn't begin painting until his late twenties, completing many of his best works during the last couple of years of his life.  In just over ten years, he produced more than 2,100 art works which included 860 oil paintings, 1300 + watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints. There are self-portraits, landscapes, still life paintings , portraits, and paintings of wheat fields and sunflowers. Especially sunflowers. See the painting below by Gauguin showing Van Gogh at work.

After living in Paris for a few years, Vincent moved to the south of France where his work was influenced by the strong sunlight of the region. His palette of colors grew brighter and he developed the style that became his signature, during his stay in Arles in 1888.

After years of painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, Vincent died at age 37 from a gunshot wound, likely self-inflicted and accepted as such.  However, no gun was ever found. At that time, his work was known only to a select group of people.

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The most comprehensive source of information about van Gogh is a collection of letters between him and his younger brother, Theo van Gogh, an art dealer. There were hundreds of letters between 1872 and 1890, with most of the letters sent from Vincent to Theo. He and his brother remained friends throughout their lives.

If you'd like to read more, try the novel, Dear Theo, by Irving Stone. The following in a part from the book description: "Van Gogh's brother Theo was his confidant and companion, and, in his letters to him, van Gogh reveals himself as artist and man. . ."

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Painting sunflowers, Vincent is subject matter for his friend Gauguin. This is prior to their disagreement in Arles, France.




Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers by Paul Gauguin

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Are you a fan of Van Gogh's art? Did you know about the missing ear (or part of it) and the story behind it? Do you have a favorite of Van Gogh's painting?

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Brought to you by the A to Z Blog Challenge 2014 Team and the originator: Lee of Tossing it Out. Click the A to Z list of participants and read on. Hope to see you again throughout the blogfest.




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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_van_Gogh Wiki on Vincent van Gogh

Article by Henry Samuel in Paris  04 May 2009; Another version of what happened to Vincent's ear. (UK Newspaper)

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Image Credits

Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888 by Van Gogh

This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less

The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License


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Self Portrait of the Artist by Van Gogh

This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.

 The official position taken by the Wikimedia Foundation is that "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain".
This photographic reproduction is therefore also considered to be in the public domain

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Vincent Van Gogh by Paul Gauguin

The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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28 comments:

  1. I want to like Van Gogh, I really do and it's unpopular to say I don't....but he used just way too much orange and yellow, my least fave colours. I wasn't a fan of Gauguin either, esp. his Tahiti art years.

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    1. I'm not a fan of orange, but a pale yellow looks good with the right shade of blue, JoJo. I prefer blues and greens, they seem calming. I know you like blues. Those bright colors surfaced in Vincent's work when he moved to the sunny southern part of France.

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  2. Sounds like there is a bit of mystery surrounding Van Gogh's death. Since you write and like art so much, have you considered writing a novel around it??? That would be fun I'd think. Usually in a suicide by gun, the gun is right there. If it isn't... it probably isn't a suicide... Just sayin'.

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    1. That would take a lot of plotting, and permission from descendants, but it is a great idea. I'll keep that in my backpocket, Robin. Yes, who did the deed? And where is that smoking gun?

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  3. V for Van Gogh ... of course! For some reason this guy is the one I learned the most about in grade school. :)

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    1. It's all because of the ear incident, that is what people want to know, and of course, little kids. Unless your teacher was a fan of Van Gogh's work.

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  4. Thanks for including Vincent Van Gogh by Paul Gauguin -- a beautiful painting. I have always wondered if he painted the way he did because he actually saw the world that way through some disorder of the eye or mind.

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    1. Nothing to do with his eyes as far as I know, Roland, but who knows what auras or other effects his bouts of mental illness had on his vision. I consider his style like Cezanne's, more aggressive and analytical (study of light and color) than the light airy Impressionists interpretation.
      I included that painting of Vincent by Gauguin because I wasn't familiar with it, and I liked it. It has an unusual viewpoint.

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  5. I am a (layperson, no special understanding of art at all) great FAN of Van Gogh, love the energy and vividness of his palette. Read Lust for Life at some long ago teenage year and totally flipped for him. Enjoyed your post on a favourite artist of mine. Thank you.

    Best wishes,
    Nilanjana.
    Madly-in-Verse

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    1. He got that vividness when he moved to the south of France where the sun is brighter. Interesting that it would change his palette so.

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  6. His painting 'Starry Night"--one evening, without my glasses I went outside and the stars were all blurry like the painting. Then I wondered if Van Gogh was nearsighted--hmm.

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    1. Now that is interesting, loverofwords. He could have been. Thanks for that tidbit of information.

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  7. I do like his work, especially his starry skies. He definitely had his own signature style. Funny how bright and happy his work seems compared to the ongoing torment he must have felt inside.

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    1. My daughter has a large print of Starry Skies. I like the Terrace painting above and several others. Mental illness in those days wasn't treated unless you were wealthy.

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  8. Starry Night is probably my favorite painting ever. I simply love it. <3

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    1. So do I, and I like a few others, but not so much his hat series.

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  9. Probably one of the most well known artists. Never found the gun? Sounds suspicious to me.

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    1. Very suspicious. Either it was an old enemy or someone hid the evidence. . .

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  10. I've always been a fan of Van Gogh, and knew about his ear.

    My favourite painting of his is The Potato Eaters., which funnily enough, is quite different from the rest.

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    1. Yes that one is very different, Wendy! He doesn't try to make it pretty, he shows the darkness and poverty.

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  11. I am a fan. My daughter really started my interest and she has a fine collection of art posters in her room.

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    1. He's misunderstood, and the letters he wrote to his brother make us see he was like anyone else up to a point. He wanted an artists' village, which never happened in Arles.

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  12. I've seen some of van Gogh's paintings and do like them. Perhaps I'm drawn to him because people say he is dark and depressing. But i don't usually see it. I like the self portrait because it looks kinda like a portrait done in yarn (crewl).

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    1. What a good eye you have, Donna. To see beneath the notoriety of his mental issues and see the art he created. It does look like yarn in that first photo.

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  13. Love, Van Gogh!

    Never saw the cafe' painting before. It's wonderful! LOVE the color and two dimensional quality to it. SO many fantastic details!

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    1. I like that painting, and only recently discovered it Michael. It brings back Paris. . .

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  14. Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists. I especially like his earlier works. There's one painting he did called Pêcher en fleurs (Souvenir de Mauve) which I really like. It's a simple painting of a peach tree with a blue trunk, and I don't know why I enjoy it so much but I do... sometimes it's hard to explain why we like the things we do....

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    1. I like that painting too, and for me it's the blues and greens which form most of the painting. I find those colors soothing. A tree also is comforting as it reminds us of nature. Great choice, Elise!

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