Click the images to enhance the following works of art.
Would you like to take a virtual mini-tour of the Van Gogh Up-Close exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (February 1 to May 6, 2012)? I had an opportunity to visit it recently and I thought I would offer a couple of its highlights on today’s blog. You’ll be experiencing Van Gogh’s works of art in a new way with an emphasis on his expressive use of space. You’ll be entering different sections focused on themes such as Blades of Grass and High Horizons, enjoying views of Van Gogh’s world, from a tiny corner of a spring garden to sweeping vistas of summer fields.
The time span covered is from 1886 to 1890, starting in Paris, then to the southern French city of Arles, next the mental institution of Saint Remy (where Van Gogh had himself committed after suffering a series of seizures), and ending in the countryside of Auvers in northern France where Vincent died. Excerpts from Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo and other correspondents will enrich your artistic journey.
FLOWERS OF PARIS (Section 1)
I have made a series of color studies in painting simply flowers, red poppies, blue corn flowers and myositis. White and rose roses, yellow chrysanthemums—seeking oppositions of blue with orange, red and green, yellow and violet…..Trying to render intense COLOUR and not a grey harmony.* Vincent Van Gogh
BLADES OF GRASS (Section 2)
If we study Japanese art, then we see a man undoubtedly wise and a philosopher and intelligent, who spends his time–on what?– studying the distance from the earth to the moon?–no: studying Bismarck’s politics? – no, he studies a single blade of grass. But this blade of grass leads him to draw all the plants–then the seasons, the broad features of landscapes, finally animals, and the human figure.** Vincent Van Gogh
HIGH HORIZONS (Section 3)
“I myself am quite absorbed in the immense plain with wheat fields against the hills, boundless as a sea, delicate yellow, delicate soft green, the delicate violet of a ploughed and weeded piece of ground, checkered at regular intervals with the green of flowering potato plants, everything under a sky of delicate blue, white, pink, violet tones.*** Vincent Van Gogh
TREE TRUNKS (Section 4)
“…violet trunks of poplars which cross the landscape perpendicularly like columns. The depths of the undergrowth are blue, and under the big trunks the flowery meadow, white, pink, yellow, green, long russet grasses and flowers.”**** Vincent Van Gogh
STILL LIFE (Section 5)
AND FINALLY, ALMOND BLOSSOMS—VINCENT’S CELEBRATION OF HIS NEPHEW VINCENT’S BIRTH
WANT TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT VAN GOGH? See our following blogs:
Van Gogh and His Neighborhood, 11/28/2010; Van Gogh’s Sunflowers: The Haunting of Gauguin, 4/19/2011; This Day in Art: The Anniversary of Van Gogh’s Death and his Last Works of Art, 7/27/2011.
*Excerpt from letter of Vincent Van Gogh to artist Horace Mann Lievens, September or October, 1886.
**Excerpt from letter of Vincent Van Gogh to Theo Van Gogh, September, 1888.
***Excerpt from letter of Vincent Van Gogh to his mother and sister Wil, July, 1890.
****Excerpt from letter of Vincent Van Gogh to Theo Van Gogh, July 1890.
All of the above images are used solely for educational purposes.