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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: Artsy Fartsy Wednesday ~ Vincent, Get in the Van and Let's Gogh!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Artsy Fartsy Wednesday ~ Vincent, Get in the Van and Let's Gogh!

So, do I win the award for the cheesiest blog post title ever? Today we'll take a look at Vincent Van Gogh (Ah, yes now you get it), my favorite artist out of all the French Impressionists. I remember the first time I got to see a Van Gogh painting up close at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was one of his famous sunflower paintings (pictured above). I remember learning about the thickness of the paint and how some of his paintings were still drying underneath 50 years after he painted them, and I got to see the thickness of the paint. I also remember learning that he sometimes applied paint onto the canvas straight from the tube and I could see small circular indentations made by the opening of the paint tube. I was able to get such a good look at it and then the security guard said "Back away from the painting, please."

My favorite piece of Van Gogh's work has to be Starry Night.

I like it so much, I had it printed on my credit card, see:

Notice something missing? Yea, I'm not that stupid.

So here's a brief bio on Van Gogh. He was born in 1853. He was the son of a pastor and was brought up in a very religious and cultured place. He was a preacher for a little while but was dismissed for overzealousness. He decided to become an artist instead. He figured he would bring people happiness by creating beauty. His early works were very somber and lacking in color though. His first famous painting was called "The Potato Eaters".

In Paris he met other artists such as Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin and started dabbling in Impressionism. Van Gogh was a very nervous person and he spent all day painting and all night having conversations which wasn't good for his health. His friends tried to help him but he would have fits of madness and was admitted to the asylum in Saint-Remy. He seemed to be doing better by May of 1890, so he left the asylum but then shot himself two months later and it took him two days to die.

Here are some quotes by Vincent Van Gogh:

"An artist needn't be a clergyman or a churchwarden, but he certainly must have a warm heart for his fellow man."

"The diseases that we civilized people labor under most are melancholy and pessimism."

"There is no blue without yellow and without orange."

"We spend our whole lives in unconscious exercise of the art of expressing our thoughts with the help of words."

Here are some facts about Van Gogh:

Probably one of the most well known but untrue facts is that he cut off his entire ear. The fact is he only cut off a small part of his ear lobe while in a fit of epilepsy in which he was holding a razor blade at the time.

He had an older brother who died at birth who was also named Vincent.

He sold only one painting during his lifetime and did not become famous until after his death.

Vincent completed over 900 paintings in the span of ten years.

Last Thursday I included a video from the film "Dreams" by Akira Kurosawa. Dreams is a collection of eight short films. One is called "Crows" and is about Vincent Van Gogh. Martin Scorsese plays Van Gogh, take a look:

Visit the Van Gogh Gallery for more information.


  1. That's a cool credit card picture...that's something that I would do...except that it would be a picture by Piet Mondrian...obscure artist.

  2. This is really interesting subject and love to see more article like this..keep posting...