Vincent Van Gogh Post Impressionism

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Cybele Nader 201200844 28/04/2014 FAAH 229B: Birth of the Modern: Manet to Picasso Professor: H. Franses Term Paper Vincent Van Gogh Vincent Van Gogh (30 M arch 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch post-impressionist painter. Unpopular at his time but still his own worst critic, he suffered from painful anxiety and mental illness, and died at the age of 37. It wasn’t until 1886 when he moved to Paris that he got acquainted with impressionism, which is why he went through a quick adaptation to the style. His progression is quite rapid, thus subsequently making it difficult to relate his paintings together and compare them with other artists’. However he did start using a lighter palette in 1886 compared to his earlier works, and in 1887 he changed to a pointillist technique, and then continued developing his own style. He was also known to be a big admirer of Japanese prints like most impressionists, notably Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and many others. Little was known of Japan at the time, which sparked Western curiosity and fascination. Most artists and writers generated a romanticized ideal of Japan, which was thought to be a primeval country whose people remained close to nature. In 1888, Van Gogh created an image of Japan as nature, and collected art of flowering trees. Figure 1 Vincent Van Gogh, Bedroom in Arles, 1888 In 1888, Van Gogh painted his Bedroom in Arles, while he was living in his famous yellow house. The objects depicted in the painting, namely his bed, two chairs and a table, all seem like they are tilted downwards, and the entire perspective seems rather strange. Indeed, after moving to the South of France, the artist’s style changed remarkably as he started drifting away from impressionism. H... ... middle of paper ... ...aced this rejection in his life, from neighbors, artists, critics and galleries. Very few people appreciated his art, which explains his long history of mental illness. His bedroom painting creates a homely ideal, sanctuary without claustrophobia, coolness with warmth and companionship in coupling and communion of furniture, which might be what he was longing for. A friend, a partner, someone who appreciated him. He was inspired by nature and deeply appreciated the South of France, which might be why his style developed remarkably when he moved there. When talking about his paintings done in Saint-Remy, he told his brother: “I did not have to go out of my way very much in order to try to express sadness and extreme loneliness [...] these canvases will tell you what I cannot say in words, that is, how healthy and invigorating I find the countryside.”
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