“Where van Gogh breathes stars…”
Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists in the world. His name has become a symbol of an entire era. The fate of the artist is quite tragic, as is his life.
Van Gogh’s Youth
Van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, in the Dutch village of Grote Zundert, the son of a rural pastor. Little Vincent was taciturn and sullen, and did not like to play with his brothers and sisters. The character was restless, even sometimes explosive. He liked to walk, watching the life of insects, was not afraid to go into the forest alone. Collected herbarium, collected beetles and bugs. At the age of 8, he started drawing. He drew peasants and ploughmen, animals and landscapes.
At the age of 12, Vincent was sent to a boarding school. He only came home for the holidays. Vincent became very attached to his younger brother Theo, and they often walked together.
When van Gogh was 16 years old, the family Council decided that he would go to work as a seller of paintings in a branch of the company “gupil”, which sold paintings.
Van Gogh was hard-working, conscientious, and accurate – an exemplary employee. He knew all the paintings and reproductions, and deftly unfolded and folded canvases. The company “gupil” took on the Commission only those paintings that were highly valued in the market. Young Vincent liked to visit museums and study paintings by great artists.
“This is a great job,” he wrote of his work, ” the longer you serve, the better you want to work”
Van Gogh at 19
Van Gogh at the age of 19.
In 1873, the firm “gupil” transferred van Gogh with a promotion to the London branch.
“Find beauty wherever you can, most people don’t always notice beauty,” he wrote to brother Theo.
In London, van Gogh was happy: he visited museums, art galleries, and antique shops. In the city of Dickens, van Gogh found his first love – Ursula Loyer. But Vincent was very timid and clumsy, unable to Express his love. Having dared, he proposed to his beloved, but she refused – she was already engaged to another. It was a real blow for van Gogh. He went to his parents for a vacation, where he smoked a pipe all day and did not leave the room. Even when he went to work, he was still sullen and irritable. Vincent was plunged into hopeless despair, constantly delving into himself-why Ursula had rejected him.
The emptiness in the soul of the young artist was filled by the Church – “Everything speaks of the goodness of those who loved the Lord”. Van Gogh wrote and preached sermons and translated passages from the Bible. The artist decides to enter the faculty of theology at the University of Amsterdam. After 15 months of training, he is transferred to a missionary school and later gets a position as a preacher in the mining town of Borinage. The mining town looked eerie – gnarled vegetation, thorny bushes, black with soot, miners descended into the mine, putting their lives in danger. Not working – they were waiting for poverty and hunger. This was the worst period of van Gogh’s life. He also tried to live ascetically, starved, and went down to the mines to the miners. A distinctive feature of the work of this period is the dark and gloomy palette, the image of the life of ordinary peasants. The artist was sure that it is impossible to convey the life of ordinary people with the help of light colors. He tried to demand a hospital for miners from the company that owned the mines. Participated actively in strikes. This scandalous activity did not please the Synodal Committee, and it was decided to dismiss van Gogh from office. You could take this as a new stroke of fate, but van Gogh began to draw. Diligently, one by one, he made sketches of the life of the miners.
Van Gogh’s character was characterized by a trait-he always believed in the best, expected a favorable change.
“I try my best to see the undeniably good side of everything at first, and only then, with extreme reluctance, do I notice the bad side as well.”
Becoming an artist
In 1880, van Gogh entered the Royal Academy of fine arts, but he did not study there for long. Later, van Gogh takes lessons from the artist Anton Mauve, who put his hand to the young van Gogh. Van Gogh did not always have the money even to buy canvases, so he resorted to a trick: using a roller, he applied a layer of soil to a paper sheet, the granular structure of which, after drying, resembled woven threads, and then pasted the finished composition on a wooden Board. Painting captures van Gogh again. He works tirelessly.
“My goal is to learn how to draw not a hand, but a gesture, not a mathematically correct head, but a General expression. For example, to be able to show how the digger raises his head when he takes a breath or talks. In short, show life.”
The artist gives his characters a special emotional tension-he sympathizes with them, sharing their fate. Van Gogh believed that the masterpieces of great masters become such only when their creators are driven by love for people. He did a lot of drawing with a pencil.
In 1883, van Gogh turned 30 years old. Increasingly, light blue and yellow hues began to appear in the master’s works. He was not yet familiar with the work of the Impressionists, but he was already intuitively approaching a new direction in painting: he used a wide brush to work with, and applied a very thick layer of paint.
The bright work of this period is “Bulbous fields”. Van Gogh painted tulips of various colors.
Van Gogh painted for the sake of painting and almost did not sell his works. In that era, salon paintings that are not burdened with deep meaning were in great demand. But van Gogh was a stranger to such painting.
“In the end, the most interesting thing in life is people: no matter how much you study them, everything is small,” he wrote.
The Paris period (1886-1888)
In 1886, van Gogh moved to Paris, where he stayed with his brother Theo. Here van Gogh met Toulouse-Lautrec, Emile Bernard, Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Pissarro. The artist’s palette of colors so inspired van Gogh that he began to enrich his paintings with light colors: emerald green, intense blue and ultramarine shades, calling them “soulful”. He tirelessly painted the banks of the Seine, bridges over the river. The artist experiments with “graininess” – long strokes and small dots. During his two years in Paris, the artist painted 230 paintings.
During this period, creates the famous sunflowers.
Arles period (1888-1889)
In 1888, van Gogh went to the South of Provence to the city of Arles. The artist was completely delighted with nature, the color palette of the edge and the depth of shades. Brother Theo helped the artist by sending money every month, and van Gogh sent him his paintings. The artist writes in the open air, which is why there are so many bright saturated shades of yellow paint in his palette.
It was in Arles that night sessions of work took place, during which the easel was lit by candles mounted on the artist’s hat. So was written “Starry night over the Rhone” – the starry sky and the glow of warm lights in the river.
“My head is full of ideas, so that despite my loneliness, I don’t have time to think and dig inside myself: I work like a painting machine…»
During this period, such works were born: “Night cafe”, “Rose garden”, “Langlois Bridge and “Washing women”, “Peach in bloom”, “Pear in bloom”, many portraits were painted.
Each work of this period is like an indomitable burst of energy, which absorbed all the beauty of the surrounding world. The paintings are very harmonious, they are bright and bright.
Starry night over the Rhone (copy in our catalog)
Paul Gauguin visits the artist in Arles. At first, their relationship was filled with warmth and enthusiastic feelings. They were completely opposite in character. Van Gogh gratefully accepted his friend’s criticism, and learned a lot from him. During this period, a cheerful canvas “Red vineyards in Arles” appeared.
Van Gogh writes to his brother Theo: “Ah, why were you not with us on Sunday! We saw a perfectly red vineyard-red as red wine. From a distance it looked yellow, with a green sky above it, and the earth around it purple after the rain, and here and there the yellow reflections of the sunset.”
In no work of the master does not meet such a solar glow, which is filled with this canvas. Gauguin called van Gogh to classicism and abstraction, but van Gogh felt more and more subtly. Disputes between artists broke out constantly. Another argument so enraged van Gogh that he cut off the lobe of his left ear and wrapped it in paper and took it to a woman named Rachel. The next day, van Gogh was taken to the hospital. Learning about the incident, Gauguin left Arles and van Gogh they never never got to meet you.
Doctors sometimes allowed van Gogh to work in the Studio. However, local citizens wrote to the mayor’s office a petition asking to free the city from the “red madman” – van Gogh was placed in a ward for violent, and the house with the paintings was sealed.
“Where van Gogh breathes stars…»
In 1889, van Gogh went to the Saint-Paul-de-Mozol hospital. The artist was allowed to go out with an easel in the Park, and later outside the hospital, but under the supervision of the staff. The famous “Irises” were written in an abandoned Park. Almost all the canvas is occupied by irises – so the master emphasized the decorative nature of the picture. Each iris is unique and different from the others. In addition to this painting, the artist twice painted lush bouquets of irises in a vase. When working with “still Life with irises” van Gogh applied the paint so thickly that the picture took about a month to dry properly!
During the same period, “Starry night” was written in a graphic style. The upper part of the picture shows the night sky with eleven stars. The mountain range divides the picture into two parts: the lower stanichnaya (village) and the upper dynamic (stars written in a graphic style, literally pulsate). Cypress trees act as a connecting element. The dynamism of the composition enhances the expressive curl in the center of the canvas.
Still life with irises (copy in our catalog)