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Impressionism in painting, late-19th-century French school that was generally characterized by the attempt to depict transitory visual impressions, often painted directly from nature, and by the use of pure, broken color to achieve brilliance and luminosity. It was loosely structured in that many painters were associated with the movement for only brief periods in their careers. Their association often came about more for the purpose of exhibiting their works than from an approach to painting held in common.
The Birth of Impressionism
The movement began with the friendship of four students of the academic painter Marc Gleyre: Monet, Renoir, Sisley, and Bazille. These four met regularly at the Café Guerbois in Paris with Cézanne, Pissarro, and Morisot, and later with Degas, Manet, the critics Duret and Rivière, and the art dealer Durand-Ruel. The painters repudiated academic standards and reacted against the romantics’ emphasis on emotion as subject matter.
They forsook literary and anecdotal subjects and, indeed, rejected the role of imagination in the creation of works of art. Instead they observed nature closely, with a scientific interest in visual phenomena. Although they painted everyday subjects, they avoided the vulgar and ugly, seeking visual realism by extraordinary stylistic means.
Sunflowers (original title, in French: Tournesols) are the subject of two series of still life paintings by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.
The earlier series executed in Paris in 1887, depicts the flowers lying on the ground, while the second set executed a year later in Arles shows bouquets of sunflowers in a vase. In the artist’s mind both sets were linked by the name of his friend Paul Gauguin, who acquired two of the Paris versions.
About eight months later Van Gogh hoped to welcome and to impress Gauguin again with Sunflowers, now part of the painted Décoration for the Yellow House that he prepared for the guestroom of his home in Arles, where Gauguin was supposed to stay. After Gauguin’s departure, Van Gogh imagined the two major versions as wings of the Berceuse Triptych, and finally he included them in his Les XX in Bruxelles exhibit
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Rembrandt – Christ in a storm on the sea of Galile Poster by Framed_Paintings
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Van Gogh's Starry Blue Night Over Rhone Painting Poster by hizli_art
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It is difficult to express Van Gogh in terms of art. It is always absolutely vital, because it is power; and power is always beauty. His harmonies are of a physical order, and therefore outside the melancholy or the delight to which the mind is stirred by other sorrowful or cheerful pictures. The reaction induced by his works is at first a purely physical one.
The planes of his canvases, which seem to have been produced, not by brushes, but by the stonemason’s implements, scream, and we are sometimes tempted to scream in unison, just as we feel inclined during a storm to shout aloud with the thunder. It is the cry of the human animal, whose blood is quickened by the enigmatic relation of the individual to the cosmos, who yearns to penetrate into his environment, into Nature, and destroys either this or himself if he does not succeed.
Van Gogh did not produce his art; it was as much a part of himself as is some material function a part of the body; it was not something external to him, but his closest idiosyncrasy, joy or suffering. To this man, who first turned to art in his later years, and then perhaps only as to a pisaller, it was apparently a thing inherent, with which perforce he had to live and die.
That this pathological phenomenon should have resulted in aesthetic achievement is no more remarkable than that Nature, of whatever kind it may be, produces beauty. Van Gogh regarded a striving after perfection as a natural morality. He was a cleanly animal. He owed more to Daumier and to Delacroix than to all the Impressionists. Here the peasant, who regretted that Paris did not possess more “tableaux en sabots,” found a kindred spirit.
When he took the group of the three topers with the child at the table, from Daumier Buveurs,† he did Daumier the highest honour in his power and–like Delacroix, when he used Raphael’s composition in the Vatican for his Heliodorus in St. Sulpice–added to his own laurels by producing one of his most individual pictures. He found in Daumier the justification of his own linear exaggerations, the flaming play of his aspiring lines, that seem to crouch in order to strike more surely.
He had also a great admiration for Cézanne, and an unbounded veneration for Monticelli, to whom he was drawn more closely by that magic South where Cézanne painted his fruits and the old gipsy his marvellous colour fantasies. In a letter to Aurier, containing perhaps the most complete revelation of an artist’s psychology ever penned–it appears in Aurier Œuvres Posthumes–he almost indignantly assigns the praise awarded to himself to Monticelli, even ranking Jeannin’s and the aged Guost’s flower-pieces above his own works.
He esteemed Meissonier, because Mauve thought highly of him, and venerated Ziem, because Ziem venerated Delacroix. This naivete does not, however, preclude very delicate appreciations. He speaks of a Monticelli at Lille, “autrement riche et certes non moins français que le Départ pour Cythère de Watteau,” and opines that no other artist has approved himself so directly the heir of Delacroix, though Monticelli received Delacroix’ teaching at secondhand, through Diaz and Ziem…
These few lines also contain all the physiology of Monticelli that was valuable to Van Gogh. He made his start under the spell of the Impressionists. Pissarro had the same influence upon him as upon Gauguin and later upon Bernard. His Quatorze Juillet à Asnières, one of the very best of his pre-Arlesian pictures, is painted very thinly, the colour divided into minute green and yellow particles on a gray ground.
At Arles he came to think this technique insufficient. He was temperamentally incapable of consistent work on this system, by which Signac fixed the vapourous quality of Southern landscape; and further, he had not time for it. The exact opposite attracted him in Monticelli: the heavy fabric of loaded colour, with which the old magician produced his thousand accidents. Van Gogh exaggerated this, but at the same time, he simplified it, he rejected what was petty and incidental, reduced the palette to single pure colours, laid on in large, coarse fragments, and added his own temperament as the amalgam.
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Expressionism, Realism and Van Gogh
For expressionism is not simply a way of seeing things: it is also a way of making them, of painting them. An expressionist does not paint “flat” and in pure tones–he breaks up his tones and applies them with a liberal brush. It is striking indeed to find in Rembrandt, Hals, and the Van Gogh of the Nuenen period, the same concern for realism, the same sense of light and feeling for expressive detail, combined with a use of impasto that is no less expressive.
In short, even the most detached and idealistic Dutch painters bear the mark of their national cultural traditions. Vermeer, however abstract, came under the infleunce of Caravaggio, that is to say, of realism; and, in our own time, Mondrian’s abstractions represent an unusual aesthetic puritanism with a social bias. And Rembrandt’s light is the spiritual expression of an observed reality–or at least of such elements of that reality as may be observed.
But such realism, however frank (as in Frans Hals), is not so much concerned to respect the real, the physical aspect of things, as to express it. And while Van Gogh, as a Dutch painter, was certainly deeply attached to reality, his almost religious deference for it was not divorced from painterly considerations.
Hence that arbitrary lighting, that no less arbitrary, dramatic and often caricatural distortion–in short, that rugged, uncouth expressionism in which there is nevertheless a glimmer of the total lyrical expression that would later be his. So it is that this essentially lyric painter began by painting the plebeian reality of his time, just as–he must have imagined–Rembrandt and Hals painted the bourgeois reality of theirs. The Head of an Old Peasant Woman, painted at Nuenen, and the hands of the Potato-Eaters thus echo in their crude, awkward way the Portrait of Margaretha Trip and the hands of the Regentessen.
Van Gogh Almond Blossom Painting Poster by hizli_art
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Almond Blossom, Vincent van Gogh. Oil on canvas
Vincent Willem van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist artist. Some of his paintings are now among the world’s best known, most popular and expensive works of art.
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