Vincent Van Gogh Post-Impressionist Painter
Biography Vincent Van Gogh was born in Holland in He died in France in 1890. His father was a minister. His mother came from a family of famous art dealers. He was one of 6 children. Theo, his favorite brother was born 4 years after him. March 30, 1853… =160 years ago
More about Van Gogh Van Gogh spoke many languages: Dutch, French, English and German. He dreamed of teaching and helping poor people. He drew all the time as a child. "If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh
Photos Only 4 photos known to exist of Van Gogh! Here are 2.
Biography As a young man he tried many professions…art dealer, teacher, Minister, working in a bookstore, until he became a painter at age 27. Vincent wrote over 600 letters to his brother, Theo. This is how we know much about Vincent, how he felt and how he worked in his own words. Theo encouraged him and sent him a lot of money to help him become an artist. What a great brother! The son of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere, Vincent was highly emotional and lacked self-confidence. Between 1860 and 1880, when he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium), where he was dismissed for overzealousness. He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty.
Early Influences Rembrandt was a Dutch painter of light & shade who lived 200 years before Van Gogh He had an amazing ability to draw people’s moods. He told a story with his paintings He did many self-portraits So now that we have heard a little bit about the Influence = affect the way one feels about something.
Art Style – The Early Years
Van Gogh's first paintings were mostly of poor people he helped as a young man. The colors in his early paintings are dark and brown (muddy). The feelings portrayed were of sadness. He wanted people to know how hard the lives were of the poor people. The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned.
The Potato Eaters-1885 One of his early aspirations was to become a pastor and from 1879 he worked as a missionary in Belgium where he began to sketch people from the local community. In 1885, he painted his first major work The Potato Eaters. Notice the color palette--somber earth tones and showed no sign of the vivid coloration that distinguished his later work…which we will see soon.
Potato Diggers-1885 Same coloration here…
More influences Claude Monet, French Impressionist
Impressionists painted everyday outdoor scenes and used small brushstrokes to reflect light and depict movement Used lots of bright colors In March 1886, he moved to Paris and discovered the French Impressionists. Later, he moved to the south of France and was influenced by the strong sunlight he found there. His work grew brighter in color, and he developed the unique and highly recognizable style that became fully realized during his stay in Arles in 1888.
Artistic Style- His Later Years
Van Gogh now started to lighten his colors and paint in short brushstrokes of the Impressionists. His paintings started to look much happier, brighter and more colorful. Van Gogh’s next painting shows this change!
The Night Café-1888 Discuss what differences there is between early paintings.
The Yellow House-1888 What do you notice about this painting?
Which ones do you like better?
Can you see the difference?
Look at the difference between the last painting and the Potato Diggers And this change came only in the last 3 years-Remember Potao Diggers was 1885, and the last 2 paintings were 1888.
He loved the sun and he loved yellow…..so he drew………
I bet you have all seen this next paining before! Can you guess what it is???
The Sunflowers-1888 Bright, beautiful colors!
Very thick paint. Sometimes he painted so fast he used paint right out of the tube. This sold in 1987 for $39 million dollars! , 46 years old
Portrait of an Artist Van Gogh loved to paint himself. We call that a Self – Portrait. Why do you think he painted himself all the time? He could not afford to pay models but he owned a mirror! He never smiled in his portraits. He was usually in a very sad mood. He used dark lines and wide brush strokes to show sadness. Besides paining still life—people, rooms, flowers…
Self-Portrait Style Those were all self portraits but they all looked different because of: Colors Brushstrokes – short, long, wide, fine, heavy or light Shading
Style Van Gogh was especially known for: Famous example is…
Broad brushstrokes Brilliant colors (no mixing, straight from the tube) Swirling lines to show movement and strong emotion….and to bring his subjects to LIFE! Famous example is…
Starry Night-1889 Are the stars shining and the clouds whirling?
There is the night sky filled with swirling clouds, stars ablaze with their own luminescence, and a bright crescent moon. Do you see how the sky keeps your eyes moving about the painting? Follow the curves, and notice the dot to dot with the stars (small exaggerated brush strokes). Show the horizon line. There lies a small town. There is a peaceful essence flowing from the structures. Perhaps the cool dark colors and the fiery windows spark memories of our own warm childhood years filled with imagination of what exists in the night and dark starry skies. The center point of the town is the tall steeple of the church, reigning largely over the smaller buildings. This steeple casts down a sense of stability onto the town, and also creates a sense of size and seclusion. 3. To the left of the painting there is a massive dark structure that develops an even greater sense of size and isolation. This structure is magnificent when compared to the scale of other objects in the painting. The curving lines mirror that of the sky and create the sensation of depth in the painting. Look at the scale he painted between the towering mountain down to the small leafy bush. Van Gogh painted Starry Night while in an Asylum at Saint-Remy in 1889. Are the stars shining and the clouds whirling? Do you think the wind is blowing – why? Can you feel all the colors in the trees shimmering?
Van Gogh Hardly anyone was interested in his work while he was alive
He sold only 1 painting while he was alive At the time people did not like the bright moving pictures he created He did some of his best work during the last 2 years of his life Painted over 800 paintings! People today have learned how beautiful his paintings are and his paintings are famous throughout the world!
What makes a Van Gogh? Do the brushstrokes bend, whirl and zigzag?
Do you feel movement and feel color? If you feel emotions or moods when you study it, such as sad, scared, tired or happy Does it have the single word “Vincent” written in cursive on his painting? If yes, then it is a Van Gogh! Van Gogh's finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh's fusion of form and content is powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.
Today’s Art Project The Bedroom-1889
Close your eyes and picture your bedroom. Draw outline of room for walls, ceiling, floor. Draw the bed, furniture, accessories. Pay attention to scale-large and small objects. How can you add movement: the bold strokes and swirls? Optional-Trace all the pencil lines with a medium size black marker. Fill in the shapes with oil pastels. If you color everything very solidly, the picture will look much like an oil painting. Sign it! We opted to not re-create Starry Night, because they had done that in Art Class before. So, we chose to have them draw their bedrooms. We used white card stock and began drawing outline with light pencil. Then they colored in with oil pastels. We stressed the use of bright colors, and suggested the sun or moon shining into their window. We discussed HOW to add movement: a ceiling fan spinning, curtains blowing from the wind outside, light glowing around a lamp… They needed about 20 minutes for this and parents may want to help with general room outline. Only spend 5 minutes on the pencil sketch and move into the oil pastels—tell them to keep it simple—it doesn’t have to be every single piece in their bedroom… We showed this website on the white board for how to start the room drawing with lines for the floor to ceiling to walls and furniture: And don’t forget--SIGN the “painting” just like Van Gogh did!
For instructor: Example 1
We helped some of the kids start their rooms with this template drawn onto white construction paper or card stock.
For instructor: Example 2
Another starting point for the room.
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