Art Prints
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In Art …. There Was Vincent ….

Last weekend I did not much more than sketching -- lying languidly on my country chic sofa … (it’s not really country chic but it sounded better than “tacky couch” or “ugly leather couch”) -- while also watching “Loving Vincent,"

the first fully painted animated feature film. Quite a feat and beautifully done. With a cute story to walk you through it, the film talks about his final days, and the circumstances (possible and real) of his death. Van Gogh, a highly emotional being, lacking self-confidence and struggling with his identity and with direction, was a man of many internal struggles, was born as the son of a pastor in Zundert (the Netherlands) on March 30, 1853

He seemed to have had a strict though happy childhood with his 5 brothers and sisters. Not much is known of his early years (some allusions are made in his correspondence with Theo, his younger brother) except that he was a quiet child that certainly did not demonstrate any apparent artistic talent. It would take many years and twists and turns for him to find his true vocation.

His real passion, it turned out, was not in art dealing or preaching. It was in “giving happiness through painting”. His early Dutch period works were somber and gray (“The Potato Eaters” (1885) being the most famous one) and as much as I admire the technique and passion put into them, they are definitely not the ones I like most. Those would come later, when he discovered the use of color 😉. His short life was a continual study of the masters such as Millet, Rembrandt, and Daumier. His intense focus on the human figure was critical to his artistic evolution.

Well remembered as a tormented soul who cuts off his ear after a fallout with Paul Gauguin (another one of my favorite painters) with whom he had been working in Arles (France).* It was not much later that his illness revealed itself through hallucinations and attacks with loss of consciousness. During one of these attacks he used the knife … * He would never be able to recall the episode. He loved twice and was rejected twice and sought thereafter the comfort of prostitutes.

I love color. I love Van Gogh. The two go together hand in hand. His application of color is exquisite and utterly magical. His themes convey a love of beauty and perfection. The Starry Night in 1889 demonstrates this perfectly. The beautiful little village and the magnificent sky hovering over it …. Surreal … Even for a post-impressionist. Or “Café Terrace at Night” in 1888, his sunflower and Iris depictions, the wheat fields and the vineyards … there are so many.

I wonder what more he may have given us had his life not been as short. He died in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, in 1890 aged 37 by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (That was the official version. But was that really what happened?) This said, I hope that I have awakened your curiosity and that you will click on the links provided and look at his oeuvre. The links included are gateways to leading and informative websites where periods and details about Van Gogh’s life will be way better described. My intention was merely to open a door and hope you walk in. I can only wish it is as happy a tour as it was for me.

Until we meet again. Namaste!

*13/125 Why did Vincent cut off his ear? - Van Gogh Museum.

All pictures are courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons.

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