VINCENT VAN GOGH

Vincent Van Gogh was born in 1853 in a small Dutch village. He wanted to be a minister and a missionary but his heart was not in it. He became an art dealer but discovered art as a career while painting under the guidance of his cousin Anton Mauve. His first attempts were quite dark in color but they contained honesty and raw power.

Van Gogh went to live with his brother Theo, an art dealer in Paris, who helped Vincent financially as best as he could. Van Gogh’s exposure to the Impressionist artists in Paris changed his personal style of painting forever. His painting style became bright, filled with unnatural colors and swirling bold shapes.

Van Gogh left Paris for the country to find rest and time for his work. In Arles his activity exploded and he painted landscapes and portraits. In his landscapes and portraits he projected the tender beauty and painful suffering of life. Sometimes from dawn into the night he painted.

Van Gogh’s artistic career lasted only 10 years but he created over six hundred canvases and nearly one thousand drawings and watercolors. Van Gogh was a sensitive, lonely artist that often alienated family and friends with his extreme behavior, yet he was able to express his love for humanity and nature through his work.

He once said, “I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.’” He was successful at this.

As Van Gogh’s mental problems got worse and needed help he spent time in a mental asylum. In July of 1890, at the age of 37, Vincent shot himself and passed away with his brother Theo by his side.
 



FOR THOUGHT:


How did Van Gogh show motion in his painting?  

What effect does the motion have on the artwork? 

How do you know it's night?

What emotions does the artwork convey?


STARRY NIGHT-Van Gogh depicted a bright clear night full of stars and the planet Venus in this vibrant and moving picture. The stars in his sky are like bursts of fireworks.

Astronomers have study this painting and concluded that Vincent’s painting is very precise to the real sky and by
the location of the stars when he painted Starry Night 
Astronomers have even been able to pinpoint the town where Vincent painted this painting as Auvers-sur-Oise, France and determined that it was painted around 7 p.m. on June 16, 1890.

A small village with lights aglow rests in the foreground of the painting. Above the rooftops we see gently sloping hills, and above these a night sky whose movements at first follow the slope of the hills and then become rolling, spiraling and turbulent.

The haloed crescent moon on the right is balanced by the tall deep-green cypress on the left, which writhes upward, like a dark green flame. And like the light blue church spire, it seems to reach heavenward.

It was Van Gogh’s style of applying thick paint using swirling brushstrokes as he did in this painting. He even painted so feverishly sometimes, that he squeezed the paint directly onto the canvas into thick ribbons rather than placing it on his palette.




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