Remembering Vincent Van Gogh
I believe that never an artist, in the history of painting, has known a creative fury and a force of concentration like Van Gogh. He did everything in a very short time, in less than five years he not only painted many hundreds of paintings, but won and passed himself, invented different painters in himself, passed as an angel not of the cycle or the interior in the furnace of his life and of his madness.
Let's discover all about the Vincent Van Gogh's history.
Vincent Van Gogh: one of the most famous artists in the world, icon of modernity, symbol of the existential hardship that afflicts man, starting from the historical moment that follows the industrial revolution. Vincent remains the very rich correspondence with his brother Theo, an avant-garde art dealer.
He had begun slowly writing beautiful and very long letters especially to his brother Theo. Van Gogh had a longing for Theo, among them there was always a lot of affection and a great deal of tension.
Theo maintained Vincent for almost his entire life. he greatly appreciated his works. The son of a Protestant pastor and the first of six children, Vincent Willem Van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in the village of Groot Zundert. After completing his studies in 1869 he went to the Hague where he began working as an apprentice for the branch of the Parisian art house Goupil & Cie.
Thanks to this experience, you become familiar with the works of Millet and the artists of the Ecole de Barbizon. In 1873 he was transferred to the London branch, while his brother Theo was hired in the one in Brussels. Vincent, however, has no interest in the art trade. His impatience grows and he gets fired in 1876. His real desire is to become a preacher. He returns to England where he works as a teacher in a private boarding school and becomes assistant to the Methodist pastor Jose who grants him the opportunity to hold his first sermon.
Not having received a specific education, he studies in manuals like Cours de dessin of Charle Brague. In 1880 he asked his brother Theo to send him some prints, starting with the work in the fields of Millet. He moved to Brussels, where he attended the Academy of Fine Arts, always maintaining the interest in drawing, which he exercised through the prints of Millet, Daubigny and the great Gustave Dorè.
In 1881 he returned to Etten, took lessons from Anton Mauve, thanks to whom he painted the first oil works. Then a heated quarrel with his father led him to move to the Hague, while relations with Mauve deteriorated.
Van Gogh plans to become an illustrator and receives the first commission from an uncle. From September 1883 he began to dedicate himself intensively to oil painting: he represented the solitary countryside and the inhabitants intent on their work, following the tradition of 17th century Dutch landscape painting.
Van Gogh returns to his parents, stays there for two years, in this period he makes many drawings and watercolors and about two hundred paintings, including the masterpiece of the Dutch period The potato eaters of 1885. The painting of a peasant subject gives him a commission: a goldsmith from Heindoven, Charles Hermann, asks him to make some sketches that he himself would later realize.
In 1885 Vincent's father died suddenly. Van Gogh is impressed by this event. In the same year the Catholic priest forbade the farmers to pose for the painter, suspected of being responsible for the pregnancy of a girl.
At the end of the year, Vincent moved to Antwerp, where he attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts, studied the color in depth and discovered Delacroix and Rubens. But not only: it is in Antwerp that Van Gogh is conquered by Japanese art through the splendid prints that arrived by sea.
The impact with Japanese art becomes even more intense when he moves to Paris. In the capital of art, he takes lessons from Felix Cormon and, in his studio, meets Toulouse -Lautrec and Emile Bernard. It will be Theo who will present to Vincent the great artists of the time: Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pissarro, Sisley, Signac and Seurat.
Although Vincent Van Gogh did not consider himself an impressionist, he clearly lightened his palette and expressed great admiration for the nudes of Degas and the landscapes of Pissarro, whose painting was considered the heir to Millet. Thanks to his friendship with Emile Bernard, he met Paul Gauguin, who had recently returned from Brittany, where he led the school of Pont-Aven, one of the most interesting declinations of Symbolism.
On May 16, 1890 Vincent left Provence for Paris, for a brief stop on the road to Auvers. Meanwhile Theo has a son and calls him Vincent. After a visit to the Salon, where he is struck by the works of Puvis de Chevannes, he arrives at the new destination.
Here comes immediately in tune with the eccentric dr. Gachet and the portrait begins within two weeks. Vincent is very well, but to disturb his serenity now are a series of problems happened to his brother Theo. Vincent reaches his brother in Paris, where he receives a visit from his friend Toulosue-Lautrec.
Returning to Auvers, he can not stop thinking about his brother and interrupts relations with Dr. Gachet, closing himself in total isolation and dedicating himself body and soul to painting that, now, expresses only sadness and extreme loneliness.
Van Gogh is assimilated to the Impressionists but in reality can be called an expressionist, that is an artist who through color represents his own sensitivity and inner suffering. Vincent van Gogh defined his life as "the infinite descent".
It is a beautiful definition, because the great painter lived his short existence, year after year, in an increasingly painful and painful way. In the same way, year after year, while his spirit was eroded as if it were one of the landscapes he painted, devoured by a relentless and fierce sun, his art became ever more powerful, unique and marvelous. Van Gogh can be considered the father of modern painting: he exploded form and color, threw the seed of Expressionist painting and even abstract art.
Was he crazy? This is one of the topics we will deal with. However, I anticipate you now that I do not believe it at all.
And if you really want to call it crazy, to take a breath before his paintings and the story of his life, his was a very special form of madness. From the moment in which society has recognized its artistic merits, it repays it by making it a kind of generous, heroic, good lay laic, spreading an aesthetic veil on the truth of its existence.
Van Gogh was in reality a disgraceful being, who spread unhappiness around him. Unfortunate, in the double sense of being struck by misfortune and bearer of misfortunes, yet it has filled us with a new and unparalleled beauty: the frightful respect for a wonderfully cruel nature.
His is an extraordinary story, the story of a small man who challenged the society and culture of the time and the whole universe, sure to win. And he won, even if he won his life cost him.
A life dissipated minute by minute in privations of all kinds, up to the final sacrifice, with a coherence sustained only by an unshakable faith in itself.
"Life is short for everyone, and the problem lies in making it something of value," he wrote in 1885. Of his existence, even before his painting, he made a work of art. We will therefore try to tell and understand who Vincent van Gogh really was, and why his colors have the power to thrill so much.
You do not need to be Freud to understand that seeing a grave every day with your name can not do well for a child's head. Humberto Nagera, psychiatrist experienced in childhood nervous disorders, has sent to Vincent an essay that starts from that stone.
His study claims that the replacement of a dead child with another - immediately after, and moreover with the same name - brings very serious trauma to the survivor, because the child knows that he would not be born without that death, and the sense of guilt torments him throughout his life, leading him to a desperate desire for expiation.
Probably this is also what happened to Vincent, but the clinical explanation does not satisfy us completely, because the despair of van Gogh, who led him to suicide, was aware and lucid, and also due to other reasons.
The nature of his illness, which appeared before the age of thirty, has been the subject of numerous reconstructions and diagnostic interpretations, founded above all on the numerous letters that Van Gogh himself wrote to his brother Theo and his sister Wilhelmine.
Among various other diagnoses, those of epilepsy, schizophrenia, wormwood intoxication, porphyria and Menière's syndrome have been proposed.
At a time when his crises, characterized mainly by hallucinations and epileptic attacks, were manifested, the artist "fell" into a state of deep depression, anxiety and mental confusion, so much so that he was totally incapable of working.
Terrified of becoming a victim of new attacks, on July 27th a shot of a revolver was shot while he was painting in a field. Injured, he manages to return to his room. "No tears, I did it for the good of all". This is how Vincent tells his brother Theo who comes to stay with him. The painter died on 29 July 1890.