Vicente Van Gogh Valeria MartÍnez serrano

Introduction

Vincent van Gogh was born in Holland in 1853. As a quiet child he showed any interest in art but when he was 16 years old, he began working at the Hague gallery. After several transfers that took him to London and Paris, he lost interest in becoming a professional art dealer and found a job as a missionary. Consequently, van Gogh left the Church and set out to become an artist.

In 1886 van Gogh relocated to Paris and was influenced by Impressionism and Post-impressionism, and gained exposure to artists such as Gauguin, Pissarro, Monet, and Bernard. As a result, he adopted brighter, more vibrant colors in his art and began experimenting with his technique.

People who were influential in his life

Theodorus: Vincent's younger brother who worked as an art dealer and was Vincent's closest friend. Over three fourths of the more than 800 letters Vincent wrote during his life were to Theo including his first and his last letters.

Johanna Gesina Van Gogh: Theo's wife. Johanna was the first to publish the letters Vincent wrote to Theo after his death.

Cornelia Adriana Vos-Stricker: Vincent's widowed cousin who he fell in love with in the summer of 1881 in Etten. Still grieving the loss of her husband Cornelia rejected Vincent and returned to Amsterdam.

Dr. Félix Rey: Doctor who treated Van Gogh in Arles after he cut off part of his left ear lobe.

Dr. Paul Gachet: Doctor and friend who treated Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise.

Style And Techniques

Vincent Van Gogh set himself apart as a Post-Impressionist artist capable of capturing great beauty and depth of emotion in his many pieces.

Canvas Preparation: Vincent Van Gogh made a point of carefully preparing his canvas. The artist preferred the standard canvas of the day, which was tightly woven and made by machines. The canvases have been shockingly low quality as such, those who strive to create reproductions of Van Gogh’s work are advised to also use lower quality linen-stretched canvases. Van Gogh’s artistic preparation process included the use of chalk, barium sulphate and lead white as canvas fillers. This made it possible for the artist to exemplify his unique painting style.

Paint Colors And Tubes: Vincent Van Gogh remains an influential figure to this day, in part, due to his impressive command of color. His use of color evolved greatly over the course of his career, with earlier pictures including such dark tones as olive and raw sienna. Many of these early paintings featured miserable miners and peasants, and as such, the use of earthly tones was necessary in order to capture the seeming hopelessness of these subjects. As he grew more comfortable with his chosen profession, Van Gogh began to experiment more and more with bright colors. He decided to take a much more revolutionary approach, matching colors with emotions.

Impasto: Involves the thick laying down of paint on a particular segment of the canvas. This technique makes brushstrokes more visible and, once the paint has dried, adds an extra element of texture. In Van Gogh’s work, the use of impasto had a huge effect on lighting, with the raised, almost three dimensional surfaces of his paintings appearing different depending on the source of light.

Perspective Frame: He made a good faith effort to improve his technique with the help of various guidebooks, but in the end, he came to rely on a handy perspective frame. Constructed with the help of a local blacksmith, this boxy frame allowed Van Gogh to view the scenes he was painting as if he happened to be looking through a window. The frame also hastened the painting process, allowing Van Gogh to accomplish more in a far shorter period of time. In a letter addressed to younger brother and art dealer Theo Van Gogh, the artist described his use of the perspective frame in detail.

Starry Night

The night sky depicted by van Gogh in the Starry Night painting is brimming with whirling clouds, shining stars, and a bright crescent moon. The setting is one that viewers can relate to and van Gogh´s swirling sky directs the viewer´s eye around the painting, with spacing between the stars and the curving contours creating a dot-to-dot effect. In Starry Night contoured forms are a means of expression and they are used to convey emotion. Many feel that van Gogh´s turbulent quest to overcome his illness is reflected in the dimness of the night sky. The village is painted with dark colors but the brightly lit windows create a sense of comfort. The village is peaceful in comparison to the dramatic night sky and the silence of the night can almost be felt in Starry Night.

The buildings in the centre of the painting are small blocks of yellows, oranges, and greens with a dash of red to the left of the church. Van Gogh paints the rich colors of the night and this corresponds with the true character of this Starry Night, whereby colors are used to suggest emotion.

Van Gogh´s passion for nighttime is evident in the Starry Night painting, where the powerful sky sits above the quiet town. The main light sources are the bright stars and crescent moon

There are various interpretations of Starry Night and one is that this canvas depicts hope. It seems that van Gogh was showing that even with a dark night such as this it is still possible to see light in the windows of the houses. Furthermore, with shining stars filling the sky, there is always light to guide you. It seems that van Gogh was finally being cured of his illness and had essentially found his heaven. He also knew that in death he would be at peace and further portrays this by using bold colors in the Starry Night painting.

shows the vast power of nature and the church spire and cypress tree - representing man and nature - both point to the heavens.

Van Gogh's dedication to articulating the inner spirituality of man and nature led to a fusion of style and content that resulted in dramatic, imaginative, rhythmic, and emotional canvases that convey far more than the mere appearance of the subject.

Although the source of much upset during his life, Van Gogh's mental instability provided the frenzied source for the emotional renderings of his surroundings and imbued each image with a deeper psychological reflection and resonance.

What have I learnt

Van Gogh's unstable personal temperament became synonymous with the romantic image of the tortured artist. His self-destructive talent was echoed in the lives of many artists in the twentieth century.

Van Gogh used an impulsive, gestural application of paint and symbolic colors to express subjective emotions. These methods and practice came to define many subsequent modern movements from Fauvism to Abstract Expressionism.

Van Gogh's dedication to articulating the inner spirituality of man and nature led to a fusion of style and content that resulted in dramatic, imaginative, rhythmic, and emotional canvases that convey far more than the mere appearance of the subject.

Although the source of much upset during his life, Van Gogh's mental instability provided the frenzied source for the emotional renderings of his surroundings and imbued each image with a deeper psychological reflection and resonance.

Bibliography:

http://www.artble.com/artists/vincent_van_gogh

http://www.artble.com/artists/vincent_van_gogh/more_information/style_and_technique

http://legomenon.com/starry-night-meaning-of-vincent-van-gogh-painting.html

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.