Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vincent van Gogh

'Vincent van Gogh, for whom color was the chief symbol of expression, was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland. The son of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere, Vincent was highly emotional and lacked self-confidence. Between 1860 and 1880, when he
finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium), where he was dismissed for overzealousness. He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty. The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned, sharply lit, genre paintings of which the most famous is "The Potato Eaters" (1885). In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and purchased many Japanese prints.

In 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Théo, the manager of Goupil's gallery. In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon, inevitably met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists. His nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night-long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health. He decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art. Gauguin did join him but with disastrous results. In a fit of epilepsy, van Gogh pursued his friend with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.

In May of 1890, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later he was dead, having shot himself "for the good of all." During his brief career he had sold one painting. Van Gogh's finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh's inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.'

biography courtesy of Van Gogh Gallery

Click on post title to go to that site.


  1. EAR! EAR!!

    soz....I'll get me coat...;-)

  2. he was a pretty odd dude, but he made some very good paintings along the way, didn't he?

  3. I'm not much into that kind of art. My art is different than that, like painting houses and making one of a kind toothpick cups on my metal lathe to give to those I think are special to me.

    Or other things I create, like my cool heating system I made for the camper.

  4. I remember an old newspaper article that someone showed me years ago-in it was the story of what could have been at that time the worlds oldest woman who is said to have met Van Goh- many people claimed that she just said such things for attention-I think it was true because it was physically possible AND she went on n' on about his destructive "social skills" boozed up with tons of drinking!!!


  5. He is my favorite artist, Stagg..outside of you and Candy that is! :) I have always loved 'Irises.' The fact that he was insane just adds to his appeal. I've always adored those who dance outside of the lines. I can relate.

    Billy, creating is creating; talent is talent. And I'm sure everything you make is a masterpiece on its own right.

    Mister Anchovy, odd dude is right! But, oh, what talent, eh?

  6. I love how he would often put one lone, lonely person in so many of his paintings. I've often wondered if those, too, are self potraits.

    I've also read that he sold only one painting in his lifetime. I should read up and try to find which painting it was. Someone, with that, certainly was able to discern brilliance. I hope that person's descendants still own it.

  7. Can't be! I'm allergic to nuts and I ain't allergic to me.....many are mind you...;-)

  8. The fact that he was insane just adds to his appeal.

    Hell, all artists are insane, babbling fucking idiots, ha ha ha. Einstein was insane, but at least he knew it. :-)

  9. Actually, none of the greats of the past were insane, just fucking bat shit crazy. But each and every one of them walked a very fine tightrope over the pit of insanity.

    Not everyone that goes that route makes it, so far I have, but who knows, it's a very stressful journey.

  10. You know, Billy, van Gogh could not find love in his lifetime but he has to be one of the world's most loved artists in his death. He really did go insane but I do not think we would have the beauty of his art had he been sane. I think, to possess that much beauty within one's soul would in itself cause insanity. The song says it all; the world was never meant for one so beautiful. No wonder I love him so.

  11. I can't afford to go insane, but if I had the bombs I would have a ball.

    So he couldn't find love, that is no reason to go insane, love is way fucking overrated, generally speaking, he could have bought all the love he needed from hookers.

    Most of them are pretty friendly and will give a man more love in an hour than he gets from a wife in a week.

    I'm not talking about you of course, I don't know you and your relationship with your mate.

  12. I dont think he went insane because of his love life..I think he just went insane for no reason.
    Does one need a reason to go insane?

  13. How in the hell would you know what insanity is when you don't know what sanity is? :-)

    Yes, generally speaking there is a reason for a person going insane. Unless they are autistic, was he pretty self centered, the autistic mostly are.

  14. I am very very fond of Van Gogh's work. Once in the MOMA coming up to a small painting of his of a river and a bridge, I ried to find you a link to the picture but I couldn't find one online...I was so filled with awe and love. It's interesting to think he might have been so easily treatable for his malnutrition, and probably syphilus, if he lived today. His paintings show how utterly in tune he was with the world and nature. I believe he painted what he saw and what he was was the life force in every being and thing. In a culture that was focused on industrial greed it is easy to understand how a sensitive soul would not fit in. His substance abuse fits with the profile of someone out of sync with intimacy. I'm not a big believer in "insanity". Most people aren't insane but usually need antibiotics and several rich nutritious meals a day.

    I often it seems to me that Van Gogh painted what is really there in the world, how actually it might be us who are insane for not seeing that love and vibrant energy in our daily lives and rejecting any lifestyle that is not conducive to seeing and sharing the vibrations of life.

  15. "it might be us who are insane for not seeing that love and vibrant energy in our daily lives and rejecting any lifestyle that is not conducive to seeing and sharing the vibrations of life."

    Amen, amen, amen! I think van Gogh the most loved artist of the world. It's too bad it took over 100 years for the rest of the world to love him back.


Go ahead, you can do it! Just whistle if you want me. You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and BLOW....

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