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Vincent Van Gogh Essay

Vincent van Gogh painted over eight hundred paintings in less than ten years. He lived from 1853-1890 only spending the last ten years of his life painting. Gogh’s most frequently used style was impasto, thickly used oil paints on stretched canvases allowing the movement, and texture to be visually seen. Each one of his pieces of work had a rare meaning behind it. People believe after his father’s death Gogh’s artistic talents were unbound due to his technique, and talents that changed miraculously. He painted people he knew, things he had seen, and pieces of art that would reflect personal feelings, and emotions.

It is critical while admiring Gogh’s art to understand when and where he created it, the style he used, and why he choose to paint it. When viewers observe Gogh’s work after learning the information behind it, the viewers take more time to look at the artwork. When viewers take more time to look at his artwork they start to notice even the small-scaled details in his paintings. After learning background information on three of Vincent van Gogh’s masterpieces the Potato Eaters, the Yellow Chair, and Starry Night viewers can appreciate the artwork much more.

The Potato Eaters, one of his first masterpieces reated not long after the death of his father. This painting was done through a period of a couple months April-May, 1885. A great deal of people today would recognize this picture not by its name but by its context. This picture holds five peasants gathered around a table in a dark room, eating nothing more than potatoes. There is a light coming from a lantern hanging above the table this allowed him to highlight the faces of four adults. “I like so much better to paint the eyes of people than to paint cathedrals,” Van Gogh wrote (Schapiro 8).

Gogh painted his feelings and what he could personally relate to. There is a child ith her back to the picture not allowing her face to be seen. “The dark silhouette of the girls back provides a center of gravity, and the tentatively painted steam from the potatoes creates a halo around her” (Benard 23). These peasants are circled around a table to share what they have grown in fields with their own hands. “It also expresses most strongly and fully his social and moral feelings. Curiously enough the clock stands still (now forever) at twenty-five to twelve.

Added up they make thirty-seven, the age of his suicide and death” (Nagera 33). Gogh made use of what little money he had which left him with low- costing materials. In spite of, using cheap paints he still found away to bring realism into his paintings. His financial situation left him often painting things that art dealers in Paris at the time would find as unappealing. “He was a painter of peasants, not for the sake of their picturesqueness-although he was moved by their whole aspect-but from a deep affinity and solidarity with poor people, whose lives, like his own, were burdened with care” (Schapiro 8).

Gogh had a relationship with the peasants in this painting and was able to give them all their own individuality through a painting. The Potato Eaters is an oil painted canvas that is 32 4 x 45in. During December 1888, Vincent van Gogh painted the Yellow Chair with outstanding detail and meaning. This painting was created in Arles, France where Gogh rented a yellow house. The yellow chair sits vacant in his painting with a pipe and shredded tobacco sitting in crumpled paper resting on the seat of the chair. The oblique position of the chair frees it from the surroundings and suggests the freedom of the human being in this is rigid geometrical world” (Schapiro 16).

The pipe belonged to his father who passed away before the painting was started or finished. “Empty chairs are generally associated with absent or dead persons and hat was particularly so in Vincent’s case” (Nagera 129). The seat of the chair is made with a straw that appears to be more tan than yellow while the rest of the chair is made of wood. The colors in this painting are not as restricted as seen in a mass amount of his artwork.

There are complementary colors in this painting, the chair painted yellow sitting in front of a blue-green door. The chair is placed in a kitchen in front of a box of onions sitting on the floor, with his name written on the box. The tiles under the chair are roughly battered, with different values of brown. The picture shows the chair appearing to look shabby nd jaded. “The whole drama of his father’s death, his attack on Gauguin [who was a close friend to Gogh] and his own future suicide are represented on this canvas” (Nagera 129).

Gogh painted this picture with emotion when he realized his dreams of sharing a studio with Gauguin personalized this picture by placing his own belongings in it as ere quickly falling apart. He well as the box of onions with his name on it. The Yellow Chair canvas was painted while Gogh was dealing with depression problems not knowing this piece of art would be cherished for over one-hundred plus years after his death. Most assuredly onsidered one of Vincent van Gogh’s finest works of art that thoroughly captured his thoughts and style, the Starry Night.

Gogh painted with oils on a canvas to create this piece. He painted this canvas in June of 1889 in Southern France. Starry Night is a painted view from a Saint-Paul Asylum in Saint-Remy- de-Provence. This view came specifically from Gogh’s bedroom facing East. Starry Night is a priceless masterpiece that continues to show viewers his style of art. The thick strokes made by the paint give the look of ocean waves. The sky, and landscaping seem to be crowded with movement, appearing to e in turbulent motion. From the bottom of the canvas to the top there is a gigantic tree.

Being drawn that the branches of the tree are visible, allowing viewers to know the tree was close to his bedroom window. A church in the bottom center part of the canvas is painted a shade of blue with an arch sticking high in the air compared to the other houses and buildings of the little village. “surrounded by halos of radiation light, the stars have an exaggerated, urgent presence, as though each one were a brilliant sun” (Getlein 10).

The movement Gogh gave this painting brings nature to life, allowing it to communicate in its wn language with every move and stroke of the paint brush. Van Gogh had become intrigued by the belief that people journeyed to a star after their death, and that there they continued their lives. “Just as we take a train to get to a Tarascon or Rouen” [Van Gogh] wrote in a letter, We take death to reach a star” (Getlein 10). This amazing piece is housed in the Museum of Modern Art, New York is allowing people to see Gogh’s magnificent work. Vincent van Gogh created over two thousand works of art in his lifetime. Sadly he wanted his paintings to be recognized so bad he lived with depression elieving he was a failure.

Unfortunately, Vincent van Gogh did not become famous until after his death in July of 1890. Johanna, Gogh’s sister in law collected everything she could find that he sent his brother Theo. She was determined to get his work the recognition it deserved. Vincent van Gogh wrote letters to his brother consistently allowing people to have the information behind most of his canvas paintings. He painted with passion and meaning, eventually perfecting his technique. Knowing background information such as, why it was created, and what style was used, viewers can appreciate the artwork more.

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