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Van Goghh - There are several van Goghs

Uploaded by AlexanderOwen on Jun 16, 2001

Art historian Griselda Pollock, in her documentary entitled The Legend of van Gogh, stated that ‘there are several van Goghs.’ To agree or disagree with this statement, one must firstly understand the point Pollock is attempting to get across. One could interpret this opinion as meaning that there are various artistic styles and several facets of van Gogh’s life that can be critically analysed; having this understanding of Pollock’s attitude toward van Gogh, it would be difficult not to agree with her.

Using phraseology similar to that of Pollock, one could say that there are four van Goghs: the failing peasant, the successful sophisticate, the eccentric meaningful lover, and the van Gogh of the present day. All who have knowledge of the artist would know how complex his life was, and so it is not incredible to believe that he was all these things during his relatively short life. (Born in 1853, he died at the age of only 37, in 1890.) An alternate definition of Pollock’s statement is the following:

He was prolific and protean: He was a scholar and a sufferer, an art-world pro and a destitute outsider, an evangelical bohemian, both sordid and sublime. There are as many ways to see his pictures as there are ways to read his life. Some are stolid brown and gray. Others seem to detonate in a shrapnel burst of color, as if his world had begun to fly apart. Some are piercingly original. Others closely imitate other artists' art. Apparent in these paintings – from "Van Gogh's Van Goghs: Masterpieces From the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam" – are the combustible components that he mixed in his art.

Firstly, van Gogh as the failing peasant. Van Gogh was not always a painter; although many claim he realised his artistic potential early in life , he did not seriously consider devoting his life to it (de Grausen , Eurie ). There is little known information about the artists first fifteen years, yet it is possible to find out the basics: after a few years of education in Holland, he left his studies at the age of 15, and never returned to them. In 1869, he joined a firm of art dealers in The Hague, called Goupil & Cie. (The van Gogh family had been involved in the art world for many years: both Vincent’s uncles, Cornelius and (Vin)Cent were art dealers, as was, of...

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Uploaded by:   AlexanderOwen

Date:   06/16/2001

Category:   Art And Music

Length:   9 pages (1,930 words)

Views:   1538

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