How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they’ll listen now.
Don McLean – Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)
Like most museums there are paintings and notes on the walls, this museum is different, it is dedicated to one artist….can you figure out who? (Hint:Vincent Van Gogh)
The museum has work from his contemporaries and his influences as well.
As I worked my way through he crowds, yes it is a very popular museum; I was amazed how a self taught artist discovered his talent. How he was able to develop a style all his own based on others around him. It also amazes me how much he knew about colour and pigment, although that shouldn’t surprise me because many painters mixed their own colours.
His numerous self portraits would lead you to believe he was vain, that was not the case, many of his self portraits were never meant to go on display, he was practising his technique; why pay a model when a mirror will do.
One of the best places on the web to see his art is the Van Gogh Gallery The site contains most if not all of his paintings and drawings. I mention this because looking at his paintings is fine if all you just want to see what he has done, but if you really want to see his work you need to stand in front of it, to see how Vincent applied the paint, how his brush strokes create the image, how the subtle shades of colour mix to create the exact colour he wanted.
Unfortunately Van Gogh was not completely healthy; he was mentally ill, possibly with some form of epilepsy or any number of other illnesses. This impacted his life and art, from his stays in asylums to his radical change in style, and ultimately his death.
What would his life be like if he could have received modern mental health care? Would his art still have the impact it does today? Would he just be one of the many unrecognized artists? Would he have sold any of his paintings in his lifetime?
Perhaps he knew?
I can’t change the fact that my paintings don’t sell. But the time will come when people will recognize that they are worth more than the value of the paints used in the picture. ~VVG