Sunday, 3 April 2016


“I want to give the wretched a brotherly message. When I sign my paintings ‘Vincent,’ it is as one of them.” – Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, in full Vincent Willem van Gogh (born March 30, 1853, Zundert, Netherlands, died July 29, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, France), was a Dutch painter, generally considered the greatest after Rembrandt, and one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists. The striking colour, emphatic brushwork, and contoured forms of his work powerfully influenced the current of Expressionism in modern art. Van Gogh’s art became astoundingly popular after his death, especially in the late 20th century, when his work sold for record-breaking sums at auctions around the world and was featured in blockbuster touring exhibitions. In part because of his extensive published letters, van Gogh has also been mythologised in the popular imagination as the quintessential tortured artist.

The work above is ‘The Road Menders’ of 1889; Oil on canvas, 71 x 93 cm; The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. The painting is quite monumental, the four large trees separating the painting diagonally into halves. One the left, the passers-by and the houses, on the left the angular blocks of stone and the road menders. The women in black seem more substantial and solid than the lightly coloured road workers who ethereally seem to almost float above the road they are mending. Yellows predominate in the painting and they are tempered by greens and ochre-browns. The painting displays the style of St Remy based on dynamic forms and a vigorous use of line.

1 comment:

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