In this essay I am going to study two artists, Van Gogh, who today is widely regarded as one of history’s greatest Dutch painters and Scottish painter and print maker, Elizabeth Blackadder.
Vincent Van Gogh was born in Holland in 1853 and died in an asylum at saint-Remy in 1890. As his father was a minister he was brought up in very religious and cultured surroundings and was a man of deep religious belief. Van Gogh tried many jobs unsuccessfully and his career as an artist lasted only 10 years from 1880 – 1890. In 1886 Van Gogh moved to Paris to stay with his brother Theo, with whom he had a very close relationship and whose unfailing financial support allowed Van Gogh to devote himself entirely to painting. Theo was an art dealer and through him Vincent met the impressionists Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin. The influences of these men caused him to move away from more formal painting, to experiment with, and develop, new techniques, to lighten the colours he used and to paint in the short brush strokes of the Impressionists. As well as this he was also influenced to paint using tubes, enabling him to paint ‘en plein air’. All things Japanese were very fashionable in Paris at the time and Van Gogh copied the style of Japanese prints in their use of strong outlines and large flat areas of colour, visible in the backgrounds of some of his portraits. Van Gogh moved to Arles in the south of France in February 1888; this was his ‘golden year’. He loved Arles and the bright light which seemed very beautiful to him. While there, Van Gogh lived in ‘The Yellow House’ and later when he invited Gauguin to stay he decorated his room in a series of his famous yellow sunflowers.
In order to counteract his attacks of epilepsy, anxie...
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...rasting effects as well as a strong use of line and geometric shape.
I find it quite difficult to relate to Elizabeth Blackadder’s work because of the way she has structured her paintings which, though carefully planned, I find a little disjointed. However, I love Van Gogh’s work ‘A pair of shoes’, it is definitely my favourite I find it absolutely intriguing; his brushstroke being so passionate and dramatic in movement it feels as if he was absorbed in the effort of explaining something to us through his painting, his struggle against mental illness and inner turmoil are painted into these shoes.
Websites; www.vangoghgallery.com, www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/gogh/, www.vggallery.com/, www.royalacademy.org.uk/academicians/painters/elizabeth-blackadder, www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~muscoll/boswell/artworks/blackadder.htm
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