Van Gogh

50,000-flower display marks 125th anniversary of van Gogh’s death

“50,000-flower display marks 125th anniversary of van Gogh’s death”

by Gabby Shacknai via “PBS

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 29:  A display of dahlias is erected to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh's death, on July 29, 2015 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The 50,000 flowers were picked behind the house of the artist's birth in Zundert. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)

On the 125th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh’s death, institutions across the world are celebrating the Dutch artist’s legacy.

A portrait of van Gogh made of 50,000 dahlias is on display in Amsterdam until the end of the week, and a cycling path, which drew on van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” with aninnovative light design, is available to the public. A 335-meter long cycling itinerary organized by Van Gogh Brabant takes visitors though five towns and cities, featuring sites like the school he attended in Tilburg and Etten-Leur, where his parents lived.

Auvers-sur-Oise, the French village where van Gogh spent his final days and died by suicide at age 37, has also planned several events to mark the day. Members of the artist’s family laid a wreath on his grave in Auvers-sur-Oise this afternoon. Visitors will explore the locations of some of van Gogh’s most famous work and see his former room in the Auberge Ravoux, where he lived the last 70 days of his life. Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and the Institut Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise worked together to organize the events.

Machteld van Laer (L) and Willem van Gogh, descendants of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, lay down sunflowers at his grave on the 125th anniversary of his death on July 29, 2015 in Auvers-sur-Oise, northern France. AFP PHOTO / ANP / BART MAAT +++ NETHERLANDS OUT        (Photo credit should read BART MAAT/AFP/Getty Images)

The Van Gogh Europe Foundation, a collection of approximately 30 organizations, is commemorating van Gogh the whole year under the theme “125 Years of Inspiration.” The foundation has organized events to take place throughout the year across the Netherlands, France and Belgium, all places where van Gogh once lived and worked. . . . .

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Van Gogh and the decision that changed art history

Van Gogh and the decision that changed art history By Alastair Sooke via BBC Culture

Self-Portrait by Vincent van Gogh
STATE OF THE ART| 27 January 2015
Van Gogh and the decision that changed art history
Alastair Sooke
Art Art history Exhibition
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(Corbis)
(Corbis)

In 1878 Van Gogh was a struggling would-be preacher. At his lowest ebb, he began to draw. Alastair Sooke looks back at this pivotal moment in history.

In the spring of 1878, Vincent van Gogh turned 25. As he looked back over his short life, the Dutchman found little to celebrate among the meagre endeavours of his faltering career. By conventional, middle-class standards, he was a failure.

A stint working for an art dealership first in The Hague then in London and Paris hadn’t worked out: shy and awkward, he didn’t take to the profession, and in 1876, he was fired. That was followed by a couple of dead-end teaching jobs in England, as well as a short, forgettable spell working in a bookshop in Dordrecht, before he moved to Amsterdam to become a minister of religion, following in his father’s footsteps.

However, he didn’t have the patience or rigour to master the necessary study, so in 1878 – a few months after his 25th birthday – he left for Brussels, in order to enrol in a swifter training school for evangelists. Even this, though, was beyond him. After a three-month trial period in which his performance was less than mediocre, he was told that he would not be admitted to the course.

By now, Van Gogh’s family was beginning to despair. He had not curbed his socially inept and awkward manner, which was exacerbated by an eccentric tendency to dress in a deliberately unkempt fashion. How could an oddball like Vincent ever hope to scrape a living? His father was beginning to wonder whether his eldest son should be admitted to a mental hospital.

Van Gogh, though, was still fired with religious zeal and remained adamant that he could find work as an evangelist. At the end of 1878, he set off for the depressed coalmining district of the Borinage to the west of the city of Mons in Belgium, determined to establish himself as a lay preacher to the working

As a new exhibition, Van Gogh in the Borinage, at BAM (Beaux-Arts Mons) documents, he stayed in the region until October 1880, when he returned to Brussels. (Mons is one of the European capitals of culture for 2015.) Although ultimately his ambitions to become an evangelist would be thwarted – things got so bad that at one point his sister suggested that he should re-train as a baker – the Borinage was the making of Van Gogh in one fundamental respect. It was here, encouraged by his gentle brother Theo, that he decided to become an artist.

The startling thing is that his experiences in the Borinage seem to have set the template for many subjects and motifs that would continue to fascinate him as an artist over the next decade, until his death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest in the summer of 1890.

True to form, life for Van Gogh in the Borinage was not straightforward. He lived in a humble hut, gave away much of his money, and swapped his smart clothes for the practical work-wear of the ‘Borins’. Unfortunately, he was not a gifted orator, so his meetings were sparsely attended. His inability to connect with the local coalminers was compounded by a practical, linguistic difficulty: he couldn’t make head or tail of their quick-fire patois known as ‘Walloon French’, while they were mystified by his own attempts at French, which to their ears sounded overly formal and fussy. In July 1879, only half a year after he had arrived in the region, he received another setback: the authorities terminated his trial appointment as an evangelist, precipitating a crisis of self-doubt.

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“One of Van Gogh’s Last Paintings Unveiled”

“One of Van Gogh’s Last Paintings Unveiled”

by Mary Alice Parks via “ABC News

“A spectacularly vibrant Vincent van Gogh painting was unveiled today at the National Gallery of Art in Washington after going private nearly 50 years ago.

The work, “Green Wheat Fields, Auvers,” is particularly exciting for art historians because the famous Dutch painter completed it just weeks before he died in France in 1890 at age . . . .”

I actually adore this painting; the blues and greens combined into an excellent group of harmonious colors.  And I’m amazed at the way the change in style from small raked lines in the grass to larger swirls in the sky is an excellent contrast. This is probably one of my favorites of Van Gogh’s works.