Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gogh, Vincent van

The Bridge in the Rain (after Hiroshige)
Oil on Canvas
73 x 54 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Hiroshige depicted the many faces of Tokyo: bridges, quays, temples and gardens. He liked to depict his favourite sites under unusual circumstances: in rain, storm, snow or during a fireworks display. European artists were impressed by Hiroshige's bright colors and spectacular compositions.

The Bridge in the Rain illustrates Van Gogh’s interest in Japanese art. He painted this scene after a woodcut by  Hiroshige, which he had in his own collection. The borders are filled with calligraphic figures borrowed from other Japanese prints. Van Gogh made two other paintings in the same fashion. One distinction with regard to the originals is the use of color: Van Gogh used different, brighter colors, or enhanced the color contrasts.
The influence of Japanese prints remains visible in Van Gogh’s later works, especially in his strong outlines and color contrasts, and in the way he cropped his compositions.

Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853 – 1890) was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold color, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art.