Vincent van Gogh

See also: [Primitivis] [Paul Gauguin] [Henri Toulouse LaTrek] [Jacques Villon] -[To: The Paris Project]- On this page: {Of local interest}

Vincent Van Gogh


1886-1887: Paris

1886-1888 : -[
www3: VanGoghMuseum.NL]- downloaded on 2007.11.11 at 1:07pm PCT On February 27, 1886, Van Gogh arrives in Paris. He lives with Theo in Montmartre, an artists' quarter. The move is formative in the development of his painting style. Theo, who manages the Montmartre branch of Goupil's (now called Boussod, Valadon & Cie), acquaints Van Gogh with the works of Claude Monet and other Impressionists. Previously he had known only Dutch painting and the French Realists; now he sees for himself how the Impressionists handle light and color, and treat their original themes from the town and country. For four months Van Gogh studies at the prestigious teaching atelier of Fernand Cormon, and he begins to meet the city's modern artists, including: -[Paul Gauguin]- -[Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec]- -[Emile Bernard]- -[Camille Pissarro]- -[John Russell]- Further: -[www:]- downloaded on 2007.11.11 at 1:37pm PCT In early 1886, Vincent moves in with Theo in Montmartre. It is a crucial period of development for his painting style. Theo, who manages the Montmartre branch of Goupil's (now called Boussod, Valadon & Cie), acquaints Vincent with the works of Claude Monet and other Impressionists. Now he sees for himself how the Impressionists handle light and color, and treat the town and country themes. He begins to meet the city's modern artists, including Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Camille Pissarro. Vincent's Paris work is an effort to assimilate the influences around him; his palette becomes brighter, his brushwork more broken. Like the Impressionists, Vincent takes his subjects from the city's cafés and boulevards, and the open countryside along the Seine River. Through Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, he discovers the stippling technique of Pointillism "What is required in art nowadays is something very much alive, very strong in color, very much intensified." Unable to afford models to perfect his skills, Vincent turns to his own image: "I deliberately bought a good mirror so that if I lacked a model I could work from my own likeness." He paints at least 20 self-portraits in Paris. His experiments in style and color can be read in the series. The earliest are executed in the grays and browns of his Brabant period; these dark colors soon give way to yellows, reds, greens, and blues, and his brushwork takes on the disconnected stroke of the Impressionists. ... Vincent regularly paints outdoors in Asnières, a village near Paris where the Impressionists often set up their easels. Later, he writes to his sister Wil: "And when I painted the landscape in Asnières this summer, I saw more colors there than ever before." -[US National Gallery of Art]- The two years Van Gogh spent in Paris, exposed to the recent trends of the French avant-garde, were crucial to his artistic development. "A Pair of Shoes", perhaps painted soon after his move, still shows the dark colors of his Dutch works. The frontal, close-up view of the worn-out shoes -- often interpreted as a symbolic self-portrait -- also recalls the studies of peasant heads from the previous year. But Van Gogh's discovery of impressionism and post-impressionism, and the friendships he formed with artists such as Gauguin and Signac, led to a dramatic change in his palette and brushwork. Interested in color theories, Van Gogh began experimenting with the use of bright, pure colors to heighten the expressiveness of his work. By 1887 he had also adopted the broken brushstrokes of the impressionists in several views of Paris and the hill of Montmartre, where he lived. With its vegetable gardens and windmills, Montmartre offered a conjunction of urban and rural elements that appealed to Van Gogh. In Vegetable Gardens and the Moulin de Blute-Fin on Montmartre, he juxtaposed complementary hues -- yellow and purple, blue and orange, green and red -- throughout the painting, applying the principle that a color looks more intense when placed next to its complementary. In addition, he made the colors vibrate by combining the loose, spontaneous brushstrokes of the impressionists with the more regular hatchings and dots of Seurat's pointillism. -[www: How Stuff Works]- In Paris, van Gogh enlivened his palette by painting bouquets of flowers in random combinations to study the range of natural hues. In writing to Theo, van Gogh equated color with vitality. "What color is in a picture," he observed, "enthusiasm is in life." Van Gogh's time in Paris allowed him to rejuvenate his life and advance his art. His exploration of color transformed the way he painted and confirmed his conviction that his passion for art was the essential force in his life. The following pages take you to the paintings van Gogh completed in Paris.

Self Portraits

-[www:]- downloaded on 2007.11.11 at 1:37pm PCT It was during his Parisian period that Van Gogh painted most of his self-portraits -- mainly because he was unable to afford models. Their psychological intensity was deliberately sought after in an attempt to go beyond photographic resemblance. It was achieved through bold color contrasts and frank brushmarks that do not conceal their constructive role. Van Gogh also fashioned his own identity. In Self-Portrait as an Artist he does not wear a painter's smock, but what he described himself as "a blue peasant's blouse of coarse linen." The palette, with its display of unmixed bright colors, indicates the artist's association with the modern movement.

Pere Tanguay

Loc Cit: www:]- [In 1887, a]mong his new friends Vincent counts the painters he refers to as the "artists of the Petit Boulevard" -- Toulouse-Lautrec, Signac, Bernard, and Louis Anquetin-artists who are younger and not as famous as the Impressionists. He organizes a group show of his and his friends' paintings at a Paris restaurant. [Le Chat Noir???] The artists often gather at Père Tanguy's paint shop, where Vincent regularly sees Gauguin. Tanguy, who generously advances supplies to many young artists, occasionally displays Vincent's paintings in his store window.


-[Loc Cit: www:]- Vincent buys Japanese prints and studies them intensively. He arranges an exhibition of Japanese woodcuts at a Paris café and his own work takes on the stylized contours and expressive coloration of his Japanese examples. Note esp: " of such Japanese printmakers as Hiroshige and Hokusai..." via: -[Encarta src?]- downloaded on 2007.11.11 at 2:03pm PCT -[US National Gallery of Art]- Another source of inspiration that Van Gogh explored in Paris, where japonism was then fashionable, was Japanese woodblock prints. He admired their bold designs, intense hues, and flat areas of unmodulated color. In 1887, he made paintings directly copied from Japanese prints, accentuating their color contrasts. The Japanese influence would remain strong throughout Van Gogh's work, finding its way in his use of daring perspectives and in the flat decorative patterns he often added to the background of his later portraits.

1888-1889: Arles

1886-1888 : -[
www3: VanGoghMuseum.NL]- downloaded on 2007.11.11 at 1:07pm PCT

Of Local Interest

Walking Van Gogh's Paris]- (book/tour/history/liff) -[]- -[]-