Thursday, 30 August 2012

Van Gogh

The Artist's Bedroom

Even people who are not into art, generally have heard of Van Gogh – at the very least about him being said to have chopped off his own ear!  He was a pretty archetypical artist with a tortured soul.  Don McLean,s song "Vincent" or "Starry Starry Night" was about him.

Self portrait 1889

Van Gogh was Dutch but spent a lot of time painting in France.  He is perhaps the most famous Post Impressionist painter.  In many of his paintings you find colour used in quite startling ways.  Like this self portrait (1889).  This was painted while he was in an asylum at St Remy after the break down which led to the chopping off ear incident.

Thirteen sunflowers in a vase

He sold almost no work during his lifetime and was largely supported by his art dealer brother, Theo.  He died, it is thought by his own hand, at the tragically young age of 37.  He was survived by about 600 letters he wrote to his brother and friends.  No emails in those days – you had to put pen to paper to keep in touch.

The Church at Auvers

And lastly the painting that inspired the title of the Don McLean song:

The Starry Night


  1. Something about the haunting quality of the Don McLean song caught my fancy when I was about 15. It was enough to make a farm girl in rural south Georgia go to the library and figure out who Van Gogh was..... Now that I am a Kansas farm wife, I am partial to "Thirteen Sunflowers in a Vase" but "The Starry Night" is my favorite. Something about the out-of-kilter- swirly-passion of his work.......

  2. Love Van Gogh! Such a talented artist and interesting life story.

  3. I hadn't seen The Church at Auvers before, thanks for sharing that. Also the Bedroom piece was done in at least three versions. Van Gogh's life always makes me wonder who else is out there, suffering but adding incredibly beauty to our culture.

  4. Loving this art post and the first featured piece is my favorite van gogh!


  5. He did not chop off his ear. He sliced his earlobe. More info on my film's website and my blog.


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