Vincent Van Gogh is a unique and outstanding artist who had a dramatic life that affected his paintings. At the age of twenty-seven, Vincent decided to devote his life for art because Vincent believed in the power of art. To him, a work of art, whether drawing or painting, had as striking an “effect” as a live sermon or a letter”( Euchre 17) . Van Gogh started his work of art with drawing.
Vincent sent Thee, is brother, some of his drawings such as Au Carbonate (At the Coalmines), Miner Shouldering a Spade or Men and Women Going to the Mines. He drew everything he saw in everyday life. The miners and weavers usually appeared in his drawings. In the letter to his brother, Thee, he told him about his sympathy for these people :” I should be very happy if someday I could draw them, so that those unknown or little- known types would be brought before the eyes of the people”(20). In summer of 1882, he started paintings in oils.Order now
Vincent often paints ” the simplest, most miserable, cost scorned objects” such as old shoes or ” loamy’ potatoes. (Huge 61). Vincent painted with dark and sorrowful colors. At the end of 1882, he experiments with lithography. He created a series often graphic works: nine lithographs and one etching. In the letter to his brother Thee, Vincent told him about drawing: Sorrow is one of Van Sago’s lithographs. The special thing about this lithograph is that it was originally a painting about a naked prostitute ” sitting with flabby breasts, heavy stomach, thin and stiff hair and weeping with her head on her knees” (Huge 6).
Vincent also decided to do a lithograph based on the painting The Potato Eaters. The Potato Eaters is his first major work. It depicted five miserable family members, who were peasants, gathered around the table, eating their potatoes in the end of a day. Vincent wanted to attain the moral value in this painting: ” I have tried to emphasize that those people , eating their potatoes in the lamplight, have dug the earth with those very hands they put in the dish, and so it speaks of manual labor, and how they have honestly earned their food” (Euchre 88).
Van Sago’s only etching, L ‘Home ¤ la Pipe: Portrait du Doctor Cache,depicted Dry. Paul Cachet, a doctor and friend of Van Sago’s who took care of him in the final weeks of his life. In 1886, Vincent moved to Paris, where he met his brother Thee, and he also made friends with Gauguin, Pissarro and Serrate. He discovered the French Impressionist. However, through Monticello, he “discovered both flowers and color” (Huge 63). And through his new friends, he brightened his palette. The Million De la Galatea is yellowed in tone but still muted in spite off pale sky.
The hill of Montmartre was treated more conventionally; the painting was dominated by green and yellow ( Euchre 114). During 1887, Vincent created more than twenty- two self- portraits. The reason for this large amounts of his self-portraits was as though he wanted to rediscovered himself physically after he changed his style in art . Another reason is that Vincent Van Gogh was short of money, therefore, he became his own subject: “l purposely bought a good enough mirror to work from myself, for want of a model”.
Self -portrait with a Straw Hat painted in the summer of 887 ” show the artist’s awareness of Neo-elementariness technique and color theory” ( The Metropolitan Museum of Art), ” the background is sketched in by meaner of very widely spaced, comma- like strokes” ( Euchre 1 15). In 1888, he moved to Arles. Vincent was affected by the strong sunlight and he became ” the prey of the sun” , ” he burst out with spring, reached his highest point during summer and discovered July and the flame’s plenitude”(Euchre 165).
At this point of time, his style changed immensely , and it was greatly impacted by the work of the Impressionists and Neo- Impressionists. He started to abandon somber palette and experiment with lighter colors such as red, yellow, orange, green, blue. We can easily see this change in his paintings such as The Pear Tree in Blossom, The Angle’s Bridge, Boats at Anchor, Market Gardens, The Suave, A Walk in Arles, The Cafe at Night… Etc. Besides, Vincent also developed his own unique style of painting. Vincent also experimented with the broken brush strokes of the Impressionists and hugely influenced by the Japanese prints.
In 1887, he usually went to the shop of Samuel Being, a dealer of oriental art. He purchased many Japanese prints from Being. After that, he organized an exhibition of Japanese prints at the cafe Lee Tambourine. The Japanese prints were used in the background of the painting Portrait of Peer Tangy by Vincent. In the painting Still Life with Plaster Statuette,” the plane in which the plaster statuette is placed crosses the picture surface vertically from one edge to the other, for shaking all the rules of illusionist perspective for the” plunging” approach of the Japanese”( Euchre 130).
In the Woman at Lee Tambourine painted from the beginning of 1887, “the technique is Impressionist, but the background is treated in Japanese fashion, that is divided into parallel down in vertical stripes” (132). Between the years 1886 and 1889, Vincent painted more than over 30 self- portraits, reflecting his current pursuit of integrative color contrasts and a bolder composition. His collections of self-portraits place him among the most productive self- portraitists of all time. These portraits not only marked changes in his painting technique but also a reflection of his psychological world.
The painting “Self Portrait with Pipe” was painted in 1886, before Vincent moved to Paris. This is the typical kind of Vincent earlier painting style, using melancholy colors, which are characteristic of traditional Dutch painting. In 1887, Vincent was trying to use Pointillism for his “Self Portrait”. Pointillism is a painting technique which was created by the artist Georges Serrate. However, Vincent failed at imitating ” Caesura’s patient and analytical approach to the technique” ( The History in Self Portraits). Another self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh is ” Self Portrait with a Gray Felt Hat”.
This portrait showed that he reached the peak of his new painting technique. He also applied brush strokes of different contrast colors such as blues, oranges, yellow, white, lilac, sky blue, and green. In June 1888, Vincent was interested in the night of Saints- Maries in Arles that he decided to paint the beautiful view of the night. It was the ” Night Cafe” which Vincent stated in the letter to Thee :” equivalent, though different, of the ” Potato Eaters” and ” In my picture of the ” Night Cafe” I have tried to express the idea that the cafe is a place where one can ruin oneself, go mad or commit a crime”( Euchre 164).
Then, Vincent had his second night study : “Cafe Terrace by Night”. In the letter that Vincent sent to Wilhelmina, he expressed his pleasure to his paintings: Here you have a night picture without any black in it, done with nothing but beautiful blue and violet and green, and in these surroundings the lighted square acquires a pale sulfur and greenish citron-yellow color. It amuses me enormously to paint the night on the spot. They used to draw and paint the picture in the daytime after the rough sketch. But I find satisfaction in painting things immediately.
Of course it’s true that in the dark I may mistake a blue for a green, a blue- lilac for a pink-lilac, for you cannot rightly extinguish the quality of a hue. (Euchre 164) In October 1888, Gauguin came to Arles and lived with Vincent. Gauguin was Vincent friend. He was famous for creating painting in many different styles, including Impressionism and Primitivism. When being together, they painted paintings and discussed with each other about different technique. Next month, under Gauguin urging, Vincent experimented with painting from memory.
Vincent started to imitate Gauguin technique of painting from memory during this time that resulted in his painting becoming less realistic and more attractive. Vincent deliberately used colors to capture moods, rather than using colors realistically. Their first encounter in painting took place at the Alleyways. In December 1888, Van Gogh did two chair paintings: Vincent Chair and Gauguin Armchair. In Vincent Van Gogh- Art, Life and Letters, Euchre said Vincent chair ” is a creature of light.
The intensity of the yellow note, emphasized by the vibrant blue of the contour , marks the paintings of the future painted “in such a way that everybody , at least if they have eyes, would see it”. Whereas the elegant armchair is bathed in full chiaroscuro'(202). However, their enthusiasm for each other and art faded away, and soon replaced by quarrels. Vincent had less and less confidence in Gauguin. He wrote Thee: On various occasions I have seen him do things which you and I would not let ourselves do, because we have consciences that feel differently about things.
I have heard one or two things said of him, but having seen him at very, very close quarters, I think that he is carried away by his imagination, perhaps by pride, but… Practically irresponsible” ( CTD. In Euchre 202). About Vincent, he did not eat every day because he was short of money. Despite an empty stomach, he stayed for hours working under the sun. (Huge 80) . One time, when Vincent saw the portrait of Vincent Painting Sunflowers which was hidden by Gauguin , he could not recognized himself and reacted violently to Gauguin.
When they went to a cafe, Vincent suddenly threw his glass of absinthe at Gauguin head. When Gauguin decided to leave Arles, Vincent tried many ways to make him stay. He had been through a difficult time to face with Gauguin threatened departure. He got up during the night to make sure Gauguin was still there, he used absinthe and bacon, since ” the only thing to bring ease and distraction, in my case and other people’s too, is to stun oneself with a lot of drinking or heavy smoking”(Euchre 211).
One day, when Gauguin was walking in the street, Vincent threw himself at him with an opening razor in his hand. However, he did not attack Gauguin, he ran away. Back in his room, he cut off the lobe of his ear with the razor. He cleaned his ear and put it in an envelope and gave the doorkeeper his ear. He was discovered by the police and hospitalized at the H¶tell-Died hospital in Arles. Gauguin left immediately for Paris, choosing not to visit Van Gogh in the hospital. Then they never met each other in person again.
Two weeks after it happened, he painted his self- portrait: Self -Portrait with Bandaged Ear. This portrait is considered as “the calm after the storm. He takes a quiet and detached look at himself and expresses a feeling of renewed hope through his bright colors and simplified drawing. A clue to the origin of this bold style is found in the Japanese woodblock print on the wall behind him”( The History in Self Portraits Para. 13). Van Gogh then started to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint- Remy for treatment.
Van Gogh left Arles on 8 May. In mid-June, Van Gogh produced his best known work: Starry Night. In 1890, he shot himself in the chest by a revolver. During his career, he only sold one painting. Van Gogh became famous only after his death because of his innovative art that had a strong influence on the artists of the next generation. Even though Vincent Van Gogh had a very dramatic life, he devoted almost most of his entire life for art. A very unique feature about Vincent ark of art is his outstanding bold brush strokes which he adopted in his later paintings..