Tag: Vincent Van Gogh
On a summer’s day in 1890, Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in a field outside Paris. What does the painting he worked on that morning tell us about his mental state?
On 27 July 1890, Vincent Van Gogh walked into a wheat field behind the chateau in the French village of Auvers-sur-Oise, a few miles north of Paris, and shot himself in the chest. For 18 months he had been suffering from mental illness, ever since he had sliced off his left ear with a razor one December night in 1888, while living in Arles in Provence.
In the aftermath of that notorious incident of self-harm, he continued to experience sporadic and debilitating attacks that left him confused or incoherent for days or weeks at a time. In between these breakdowns, though, he enjoyed spells of calmness and lucidity in which he was able to paint. Indeed, his time in Auvers, where he arrived in May 1890, after leaving a psychiatric institution just outside Saint-Remy-de-Provence, north-east of Arles, was the most productive period of his career: in 70 days, he finished 75 paintings and more than 100 drawings and sketches.
Despite this, though, he felt increasingly lonely and anxious, and became convinced that his life was a failure. Eventually, he got hold of a small revolver that belonged to the owner of his lodging house in Auvers. This was the weapon he took into the fields on that climactic Sunday afternoon in late July. However, the gun was only a pocket revolver, with limited firepower, and so when he pulled the trigger, the bullet ricocheted off a rib, and failed to pierce his heart. Van Gogh lost consciousness and collapsed. When evening fell, he came back round and looked for the pistol, in order to finish the job.
Unable to find it, he staggered back to the inn, where a doctor was summoned. So was Vincent’s loyal brother Theo, who arrived the next day. For a brief while, Theo believed that Vincent would rally. But in the end, though, nothing could be done – and, that night, the artist died, aged 37. “I didn’t leave his side until it was all over,” Theo wrote to his wife, Jo. “One of his last words was: ‘this is how I wanted to go’ and it took a few moments and then it was over and he found the peace he hadn’t been able to find on earth.”
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.
Take her away this summer and make your trip special with a visit to one of these romantic art museums. Sure, a great beach or club is fun, but don’t forget to satisfy her mind and heart with an outing that lets you stroll and talk about what you see. So here are the top 10 romantic art museums to visit with that special woman in your life, along with a few tips on the best spots to find a little privacy amid the crowds.
You don’t have to love art or know anything about art to appreciate what these romantic art museums offer. We sometimes forget that a romantic moment can occur during daylight hours and must remind ourselves that we can connect in ways other than over drinks or expensive dinners. These museums also offer the chance to find out who she is without much discussion. For once you can simply enjoy your surroundings and the moments you create together.
1. Musee Rodin, Paris, France
Nestled among the hustle and bustle of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, one finds the sculpture gardens and Rodin Museum. Walk the paths and marvel at his work. Enjoy a glass of wine and walk the halls of this understated museum before heading back into the city of light, but before you do hike the length of the gardens beyond the fountain for some of the most secluded alcoves of any garden in Paris. The trek to these far corners will be worth every stolen moment.
2. Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois
Don’t get blinded by the size and volume of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. This romantic art museum and its intriguing exhibitions are on a quiet street close to shopping and dining. This museum is on the small side and privacy is at a minimum, but rest assured it can be found amid the special exhibit galleries in the late afternoon when the tourists and locals alike have moved on.
3. Musee du Louvre, Paris, France
You’ll never get through the entire place in one day. And you won’t get to see a small fraction of the collection if you stand in the security line with the crowds so you might as well impress her with this little-known fact: There is a back passageway into the main entrance below ground. Just beyond the glass pyramid designed by architect I.M. Pei, and along the edge of the Tuileries gardens is a staircase that drops down from the sidewalk and into the shopping arcade. From here you can pass through a small security checkpoint and make your way beneath the pyramid and into the museum. While the crowds might seem large at times, there are plenty of galleries away from the Mona Lisa to steal a kiss or two. Best of all is the fact that you are in Paris, a place where stealing intimate moments seems to be encouraged.
4. Uffizi Museum, Florence, Italy
The halls are wide, the stairs are long, and the artwork amid the Medici family furnishings is undeniably beautiful. The lack of adequate central air has caused many to faint, which author Stendhal has attributed to the magnificent sight of the artwork. Today, you can use the warmer temperatures and the poorly lit passageways at the furthest ends of the gallery’s upper floors where few tourists venture to your advantage as you take a few moments to wipe the perspiration from her brow and remind her why you brought her here.
5. Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
A renovated gem of glass and steel featuring Puck’s Restaurant by Wolfgang Puck with an immaculate garden for quiet walks. Enjoy the eclectic mix of modern, impressionistic and newly commissioned pieces before an early dinner with cocktails. Then find your way through the lily gardens adjacent to the main building as the sun sets over the 19th-century canal below to a secluded spot among the sycamore trees. If you still have any energy you can treat her to a classic movie under the stars on the back terrace of the main building where the museum erects a massive outdoor screen in the summer and allows you to picnic as you watch.
6. Haus Der Kunst, Munich, Germany
This small but eclectic museum sits on the outskirts of the English Garden and a few blocks away from the best shopping in Germany. After taking in the museum’s collection, you’ll need a break and a breath of fresh air. Head around the back of this romantic art museum and find the small pond with ducks and geese floating around a small island with a Tea House in the middle. Surrounding the pond are several benches rarely used and these will provide the respite you both want.
7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The collections and the sculpture gallery at this romantic art museum are the finest in the world. And let’s not forget that The Metropolitain Museum of Art is in Central Park, so a romantic walk is a must after you’ve had some quiet time in the Egyptian rooms on the lower levels. Most visitors stay within the upper floors, and an early Saturday morning visit will provide more privacy than you could ever imagine.
8. Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France
Across the Louvre and along the Seine, this converted rail station is a work of art itself with incredible rooftop views of Paris. The Louvre might have the best of the old world, but the Musee d‘Orsay has a phenomenal collection of oil paintings from the last 200 years. The main floors are congested with security lines, ticket offices and gift shops, so take her upstairs to the cafe and spend a few moments on the outdoor terrace admiring the view. Then slip back inside to admire the smaller galleries amid steel staircases, catwalks and dim dramatic lighting to make a few personal memories of your own at this romantic art museum.
9. Picasso Museum, Paris, France
Nestled in a small neighborhood near the Bastille, the old rambling house converted into a museum boasts a fine courtyard cafe where you can enjoy lunch with wine at a modest price. The lower basement galleries are the quietest, while the upstairs galleries, which house more of Picasso’s better known works, are the loudest. Begin at the top and work your way down for privacy and quiet among the sculptures along the stone staircase.
10. Guggenheim Museum, Venice, Italy
Located on the Grand Canal, the Guggenheim Museum can be reached by foot or by gondola. Peruse the personal collection of Peggy Guggenheim who lived in the house and decorated it with the works of up-and-coming artists. Late afternoon is the best time to visit because the end of the day brings with it the extraordinary light shimmering on the Grand Canal. Here you will find the Nasher sculpture garden and Grand Terrace exhibit areas, which provide a stunning backdrop for the artwork as well as a few stolen moments of privacy for couples to discover one another, helping to make this one of our top 10 romantic art museums.
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
Post-impressionist painter van Gogh’s artworks on ceramic tiles – Dutch Parisian artist art collection – Self portrait, still life – naturmort, cafe in Paris and landscape paintings of Vincent van Gogh
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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.
Two American authors present an entirely different account of how the famous artist died.
Vincent Van Gogh has long been a poster boy for geniuses who appreciated only after death. Not one of his paintings sold during his life. But while his creative legacy is undisputed, a new theory has raised some doubts about the official story of his death.
CBS “60 Minutes” recently aired a story of two journalists who believe Van Gogh may not have taken his own life. Instead, they believe) that the iconic painter may have been murdered.
They also published a book to advance their claim. Van Gogh: A Life by Gregory White Smith and Steven Naifeh, argues that the great impressionist painter, was probably murdered by two local teenagers. Before this book, most people believed that Van Gogh shot himself in a field before stumbling into her room, where he died more than a day later.
The book, which argues that Van Gogh had lied to protect his alleged attackers, because he wanted to die, raises some interesting questions. Why, for example, were the brushes and easel that Van Gogh had with him on the ground has never recovered? Why does not anyone find a suicide note? And why were unable to locate the investigators of the gun that Van Gogh would have been used on himself?
However, some experts remain unswayed by the new theory. Leo Jansen, curator of the Van Gogh Museum and the editor of the letters of the artist, noted that Van Gogh: A Life is a “great book”, but the authors of the lack of solid evidence in support of their thesis.
Jansen also noted that all we really need to go on what Van Gogh said while he was dying. Van Gogh was asked if he intended to kill himself, and he would have said, “Yes, I believe.”
You can watch the entire “60 Minutes” segment above and decide for yourself.
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