Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gogh, Vincent van

Branches with Almond Blossom
oil on canvas
73.5 x 92 cm
Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Vincent van Gogh Foundation, Amsterdam

Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890), son of a Protestant pastor, was a Dutch postimpressionist painter whose work represents the archetype of expressionism, the idea of emotional spontaneity in painting.
Early in life he displayed a moody, restless temperament that was to thwart his every pursuit. By the age of 27 he had been in turn a salesman in an art gallery, a French tutor, a theological student, and an evangelist among the miners at Wasmes in Belgium.

In his final letter to Theo (younger brother), Vincent admitted that as he did not have any children, he viewed his paintings as his progeny.
"At the beginning of the twentieth century Van Gogh gave the Expressionists a new painterly language which enabled them to go beyond surface appearance and penetrate deeper essential truths. It is no coincidence that at this very moment Freud was also mining the depths of that essentially modern domain—the subconscious. This beautiful and intelligent exhibition places Van Gogh where he firmly belongs; as the trailblazer of modern art." (critic Sue Hubbard)