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Showing posts from August, 2016

Van Gogh

Self-Portrait, 1887

Born March 3, 1853 in southern Netherlands, Vincent Van Gogh, the infamous Dutch Post-Impressionist artist, tortured soul and a key figure in Modern Art. Biographies abound in Van Gogh's dramatic and psychological personal life as a troubled man with mental health issues that lead to his own suicide at the young age of 37, but here I'd like to explore what makes Van Gogh unique as a painter. His brushwork and use of bold colors is the most expressive and powerful of arguably any artist in the history of Western Art. Although I cannot say I understand a lot of his work, in particular his portraits, flower arrangements and street scenes, nonetheless it is his use of color and paint that I find fascinating and worth delving further into. For those wishing to read more about his life, click here.

Of his numerous self-portraits he painted, above is a legendary example of his idiosyncratic technique. Look up close and those seemingly neat arrangement of pointilli…

Anton Mauve, The Power of Simplicity

The Vegetable Garden, ca.1885-1888


Anthonij (Anton) Rudolf Mauve was a Dutch painter born on September 18, 1838 in Zaandam, northern Holland. He was a leading member of the Hague School of painters in the late 1800's, and outside Holland not well-known except for his connection to Vincent Van Gogh, whom he influenced greatly. Mauve's work focused on rural motifs that captured the everyday farm-life under the often characteristic overcast skies that define Dutch landscape art and the Hague School, hence earning them the curious nickname the Gray School. Mauve's early art instruction were from more formulaic Dutch painters that Mauve sought to break free from into a more naturalist approach using color and mood to heightened effect. Action and composition were not the primary forces that motivated Mauve, but rather the way people moved, how they worked, and the scenic atmosphere under which they lived. Mauve would eventually evolve into another school or rather art colony, ca…