Archive for October 18, 2012

Second part of Vincent Van Gogh….

Here is a clip from a show given at the Philadelphia Musuem of Art featuring the artist earlier this year. The show was titled “Van Gogh up close.”

A great clip showing the Van Gogh Musuem in Amsterdam. Its awesome I can say, having visited it two times!

The Van Gogh Musuem is currently held at the Hermitage Amsterdam whilst the Van Gogh building is being refurbished.


I have been scouring the internet trying to find out what all will be included in this exhibition in Denver. We get to learn of the process of how Van Gogh arrived where he did. On the verge of super success, perhaps the most well known artist in the world, who only a few paintings during his lifetime. Many ebay artists have sold at least two paintings in their life.

Another interesting treat that the Denver exhibit will feature some of his early drawings. He was inspired to draw from a book on the subject written by Charles Barque. Van Gogh was said to have copied each plate at least one time, and the book had 197 plates. He made copies of the nudes at least three times each. Only two of these works are known to exist as the artist’s mother put them into the trash!

Another interesting aspect is how the artist came to use and experiment with color. Van Gogh used yarn to imitate what he wished his canvases to look like. It was cheap and it allowed him to keep his colors seperate, just as in his paintings.

We also learn that many nudes done in a class with a Henri de Toulouse-Letrec were done from the  backside because this area was reserved for the weaker students in the class! Its great to see that Vincent continued with his love and passion for art despite the many times he failed.

After his art dealer career was finished he tried to become a pastor. After three months of training he failed at this as well. He tried to live as a missionary, but wasn’t very clean and often slept in living quarters that church higher ups looked at with disdain, such as sleeping on a bed of straw. Van Gogh thought he should live like those he preached about.

After his faith mission had been curtailed he finally turned to art and devoted himself fully. Van Gogh moved to Brussels, Belgium to study at their Royal Academy.

Later he moved to the Hague and fell in love with a prostitute. He had an uncle that was an art dealer that commissioned him to do some drawings of the city.

Van Gogh moved to Neunen where he fell in love with a neighbor’s daughter. The marriage was thought to be a bad idea by both sets of parents. His fiancee tried to kill herself, but he was able to save her. His father passed away in 1885 and it devastated him.

The Paris art world was interested in Van Gogh at this time, but it would be a few years before he would move to France. He painted the Potato Eaters with his somber and earthy toned palette. He lived poorly in Antwerp. He spent money Theo sent for food and rent on art supplies and had a steady diet of tobacco, coffee, and a little bread. He then moved to Paris and continued to study the Japanese prints and incorporate them into his works.  We don’t have many letters of Vincent to Theo during this time as they lived together. It put quite a bad strain on the relationship.

The artist then moved to Arles, in the south of France. He was in poor health from too much smoking as well as drinking to much absynthe. His friend Paul Gaugin was going to visit him in Arles, and Van Gogh thought he might start an art colony. During this time Van Gogh cut off his ear and offered it to a prostitute. Gaugin fled and opted not to see Vincent anymore.

He committed himself in 1889 to a mental asylum. It was less than twenty miles from Arles and the artist made studies of the gardens.

1890 he moved to be closer to Doctor Gouchet, the famed portrait was made by the artist here that sold for more than 80 million dollars.

Although no gun was ever found, it is taken to be fact that Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. No one knows exactly where he shot himself, but he staggered to a neighbors house and left to drink and smoke, even Theo was at his side. Vincent Van Gogh died 29 hours after shooting himself.

I find Vincent to be one of the most fascinating artists of all time. I won’t go to the show opening week, but look forward to seeing the show on weekday so that I can spend hours just looking at a few paintings thinking to myself the paint is still probably wet…..

A short clip from a documentary done by A and E television.

Hats off to Vincent Van Gogh!