Essay on Van Gogh Art Case Study

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Vincent Van Gogh was formed by his social, cultural and historical context. This is expressed clearly in the underlying stories of both paintings, Starry Night, 1889 and Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, 1889. Both of these paintings portray a narrative relating to Van Gogh significantly as he emotionally connects to the subject in each painting. Van Gogh’s aim of these subjective works was to express meaning through colour and express the painting to a more personal emotion for the viewer. Van Gogh belonged to a small style of Post Impressionism which was a reaction against Impressionism and their formality.

Van Gogh was a Post Impressionist artist who painted expressively to portray emotions subjectively, like Gauguin, rather then objectively, like other artists such as Cezanne and Seurat. He used thick impasto paint application with short yet heavy brushstrokes. Other works include; Sunflowers, 1888, Self-Portrait 1889, Night Café 1888.

Van Gogh was born in the 30th of March 1853 in Netherlands. During his life time he fell in love with many different women, including a cousin, a prostitute, and the neighbour’s daughter. His father was a Reverend who influenced Van Gogh’s religious views, as he tried to qualify as a missionary yet failed but still worked in a coal mining community doing missionary work.

In 1888 he was found in a critical state by police who took him to hospital, later he had hallucinations and feared he was being poisoned so he was hospitalised again for ten days. Later, after admitting himself to a mental institution, they found out he had an epileptic disorder. He only decided to take up being an artist when he was 27 after multiple failures at other jobs. He committed suicide when he was 37. His pa...

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Cornell, S 1983 Art Oxford: 369-72

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New York University 2006 Literature, Art, and Medicine Database viewed 29 March 2011

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van der Wolk, J Vincent Van Gogh viewed 28 March 2011

Wiggins, C Post Impressionism Australia: 18-19, 25-29

William, D and Wilson, B 1992 From Caves to Canvas Australia: 211-6

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