Monday, June 19, 2017

Vincent Van Gogh - Blogging Through the Alphabet

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Vincent Van Gogh - Blogging Through the Alphabet on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most well-known and recognizable artists of the Post-Impressionist period. His paintings are among my favorites, and I know they are favorites with others as well. For the letter V in this series, I decided to find out a little more about this famous artist.

Van Gogh was the son of a minister, and tried his hand at being a clergyman and an art dealer before deciding at age twenty-seven to pursue a career as an artist. He was largely self-taught, learning by carefully copying prints, and studying drawing manuals and lesson books. Later he received some formal instruction from his artist cousin, Anton Mauve. He concentrated on learning black and white before color, and mastering perspective in drawing figures and landscapes. His first earnings as an artist came when his art dealer uncle commissioned two sets of drawings of Hague landscapes. Van Gogh painted everyday sites like the railroad station and gardens for this commission, and concentrated on rural scenes and peasants during this period.

In 1885, he left Netherlands to study at the Antwerp Academy in Belgium; and then went to France to live with his brother Theo who was an art dealer. While in Paris, he saw the work of the Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists. As a result, he experimented with a lighter palette and the broken brush stroke style of these art movements. He painted more the twenty self-portraits in Paris, exploring bolder styles and color contrasts.

Vincent van Gogh - Self-Portrait - Google Art Project (454045)
Self-portrait, 1887

He moved to the south of France in 1888, and unfortunately suffered a breakdown there. It was in Arles that he famously cut off part of his ear with a razor. Fearing another breakdown, he voluntarily entered an asylum in 1889. While there he painted more than 150 canvases, with images ranging from the corridors to the gardens and grounds. After leaving the asylum, he averaged a painting a day for a period of about two months; but then on July 27, 1890, he shot himself in a wheatfield and died two days later.

Vincent Van Gogh - Blogging Through the Alphabet on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Vincent van Gogh - Starry Night - Google Art Project
Starry Night on the Rhone, 1888

Vincent Van Gogh - Blogging Through the Alphabet on Homeschool Coffee Break @
Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers, 1888

Vincent van Gogh - Sunflowers - VGM F458
Sunflowers, 1889

Over the course of his ten-year career, he produced almost 900 paintings and over 1100 drawings. Although he ranked himself as an artist of "very secondary" importance, his work was definitely attracting critical attention by the time of his death. His paintings were featured in Paris and Brussels in 1890 and many artists regarded them as "the most remarkable" in the show.

Probably the best known Van Gogh painting is this one, The Starry Night. I admit, it's my favorite!

Vincent Van Gogh - Blogging Through the Alphabet on Homeschool Coffee Break @
The Starry Night, 1889

It's inspired many other artworks and is a favorite for students. Guess what Kennady will be working on this week? That's right, a painting with a Starry Night background, using a lesson from Creating A Masterpiece. When we reviewed this amazing online art program a few months ago, Kennady and I both took notice of the Art In History lessons, in particular the lesson called Post-Impressionism Period: The Eagle in Van Gogh Style. It took awhile, but we are finally getting to that now, and I hope it's ready to share on my Virtual Refrigerator soon!

Vincent Van Gogh - Blogging Through the Alphabet on Homeschool Coffee Break @

By the way, our full review is here: Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

This post is linked at Blogging Through the Alphabet hosted by A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool. Join in to see what others are sharing related to this week's letter!

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Annette said...

aw.... I never knew Van Gogh's sad ending. he did some marvellous work in his life eh?

Kirsten West said...

A lot of contemporary history today focuses on the sad ending and the darkness of his mental illness and not so much on the beginning of Van Gogh's life, his parents, and the massive body of work he left for us. I am glad you included the good parts and the beauty in his life. I look forward to seeing the Eagle in Van Gogh style on your virtual refrigerator!

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