Monday, December 8, 2014

Vincent Van Gogh
At l6 Van Gogh started selling art in England.
Van Gogh decided to be a missionary in Belgium when he was in his 20's.
The poverty he saw made him so sad, that he started painting what he saw.

The Potato Eaters, 1885

How does this painting make you feel?
He painted in dark colors to portray the sadness.
This was before Van Gogh had any formal training.
At this point, Van Gogh didn't realize the importance of color.
Boots with Laces. 1886
Van Gogh started painting traditional Dutch subjects.
They are landscapes, portraits and still life, like the shoes.

Self-Portrait with Pipe. 1886

Van Gogh concentrated on the subject's eyes and expression when doing portraits.
Around this time, Van Gogh moved to Paris, France to live with his brother.
Van Gogh met impressionist painters.
Notice the difference between the first painting and the one to the right of it.

Self-Portrait in Straw Hat, 1887

How is this portrait different from the one on the left? (brighter colors, freer strokes,
happier feeling)

Self-Portrait in front of an Easel. 1888

Van Gogh moved to the south of France where the weather was nice and continued
painting impressionist style.

Self-Portrait with Bandased Ear. 1889

Van Gogh suffered mental illness (depression) for many years.
This painting was done after Van Gogh cut his ear lobe off to send to a girl he liked.
He painted the picture to use as a photo to send to his brother, Theo, showing that he was

Gauguin's Chair. 1888

Gauguin was an artist friend who lived with Van Gogh for a while.
He painted this as a tribute to his friend.

Vincent's Chair with Pipe. 1888

Van Gogh liked to paint in yellows and blues mostly after meeting the impressionist

The Bedroom at Arles. 1888

Van Gogh would paint pictures to show where he lived.
He used paintings like we would use photographs today.

Vase with 12 Sunflowers. 1888

Van Gogh did several still life paintings of sunflowers.
He used thick brushstrokes (impasto) and heavy layers of paint.

Sunflowers in a Vase, 1888

Van Gogh created some of the sunflower paintings with the intent of decorating the
bedroom walls in Arles where his friend Gaughin was to stay.

Café Terrace/Sidewalk Café at Night. 1888

Vincent thought night was more richly colored than day, so he liked to paint night scenes.

Road with Cypresses, 1889

Van Gogh's studies of Cypresses lead to his painting of Starry Night.
Characterized by swirls and movement
He combined impressionism with feeling creating Expressionism.
This is created at a time when Van Gogh was depressed and feeling sad.
Starry Night. 1889

This is one of Van Gogh's most famous and emotionally powerful paintings.
Sometimes when Van Gogh painted, he would just squirt the paint right on the canvas
instead of using a palette - a very thick application.
Van Gogh was fascinated with astronomy and the sky. He liked to paint haloed stars,
moons and suns.

The Olive Orchard. 1889
This is considered by Vincent to be muted colors. (less bright and more conservative)

Crows Over the Wheat Field. 1890

Van Gogh painted from the landscape he saw of Arles.
This is one of his last paintings.
Can you sense the wildness and turmoil he felt by looking at some of his paintings?
He wrote to his brother Theo when the weather in Arles had worsened how there were
"vast fields of wheat under troubled skies", adding that he did not "need to go out of my
way to try and express sadness and extreme loneliness".
Van Gogh died in 1890 when he was 37 years old.
He sold only one painting during his poor and difficult life.