Essay about The Art and Life of Vincent van Gogh
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The Art and Life of Vincent van Gogh Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most distinguished modern artists. His early work depicts humble subjects, peasants mostly, with a gentle hand. Many of his other paintings are mostly room settings, and still lifes of flowers with such intensity that it would seem as if he had captured a piece of the sun and used it in his painting. It is truly ironic that during his lifetime, he received no recognition whatsoever, and only sold one painting. Van Gogh faltered repeatedly in every career he attempted to pursue and felt extremely unloved by others. He did not have any friends. Van Gogh turned to art to express his strong religious feelings and his deep need for love and respect.…show more content…
(World Book, p229) The missionary society disapproved van Gogh's actions and chose to relieve him of his duties in the summer of 1879. Van Gogh began to draw while he as in Borinage, and he decided to become a full-time painter after the missionary society decided not to be affiliated with him any longer.
Van Gogh initially relied heavily on dark brown and olive colors and heavy brushstrokes when painting. "The Potato Eaters," which he completed in 1885, is one of his finest works during this time period. (World Book p229)
In 1886, van Gogh headed to Paris to visit his brother Theo. While he was there, he was at once captivated by the impressionist art he saw. While under the influence of impressionism, van Gogh lightened his brushstrokes and used bright, clear colors instead of the previous darker colors.
It is said that the greatest period of van Gogh's short, but high productive art career came near the end of his life. He packed his bags and moved to Arles, which is located in southern France, in 1888. Van Gogh suffered with a violent mental illness which caused seizures. Amidst struggles with that serious mental illness, he produced a series of passionate paintings. The dynamic color and slashing brushstrokes of van Gogh's paintings exhibit his agitated psyche. "A great
Vincent van Gogh was a person with a difficult and dramatic life. He was a poor, unknown artist suffering from a mental disease. But his perseverance, use of art as a skill to cope with illness, dedication to art, and the support of his brother helped him to keep on painting. He developed his own style of impasto painting and pushed the boundaries of impressionism. This approach to art set van Gogh’s place among the most famous artists in history, and though he died unknown, now his name is synonymous with being an artist.
When van Gogh stayed at the mental hospital in Saint-Remy, he used painting as a coping mechanism to help himself deal with his symptoms. It is a well-known fact that van Gogh had psychological problems; once, he attacked his friend Gauguin, and according to the most popular version of the story from historians, after that he cut half of his ear off with a razor. The admitting physician described Vincent van Gogh’s symptoms as mania with hallucinations (Van Gogh Museum, 2005). During his hospitalization, he created 150 paintings. Instead of allowing himself to get discouraged during his stay at the hospital, van Gogh persevered and continued to work on his paintings.
Throughout van Gogh’s life, his brother Theo was a source of financial and emotional support. Though Theo is often credited with introducing the world to Vincent van Gogh’s art, his efforts might have failed without the support of Theo’s wife, Johanna van Gogh. After all, Theo died two months after Vincent (Righthand, 2010). Through Theo’s showing of Vincent’s work, he had begun to gain some notoriety. However, Johanna prized Vincent’s art and relied on selling some of the paintings to help support her young son (Righthand, 2010).
Van Gogh was a prolific artist. He painted for 10 years, and during this period of time, he created 860 pieces of art (Van Gogh Museum, 2005). His paintings demonstrate a clear style of movement and color in thick layers of paint. Artists cannot gain attention without having an original, notable style of their own—so van Gogh worked on developing his distinct style. Instead of merely copying the impressionism style popular back then, he transformed it into his own; now van Gogh is recognized as being an artist of post-impressionism.
Vincent van Gogh became one of the most famous artists in history. He used art as a tool to fight his mental illness. Despite his difficulties, he diligently worked on his paintings; with the help of his family, he dedicated 10 years of his life to producing an incredible number of paintings. After his death, his family continued to promote Vincent’s work. With van Gogh’s well-defined style and numerous works, he became an artist adored globally postmortem.
Righthand, J. (2010, November 2). The Woman Who Brought Van Gogh to the World. Retrieved from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/The-Woman-Who-Brought-Van-Gogh-to-the-World.html.
Van Gogh Museum. (2005). Van Gogh’s Life. Retrieved from http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/vgm/index.jsp?page=12267&lang=nl.
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