Vincent Van Gogh: Visionary Landscapes

February 1, 2008|
Vincent Van Gogh: Visionary Landscapes by Stuart Morris
Earn 85 plum® points
Ships free on orders over $35

In stock online

Not available in stores

Prices and offers may vary in store



Few artists command such fervent devotion amongst art lovers and such high prices in the salerooms of the art world. Love him or hate him, Vincent van Gogh is one of a handful of artists who is now a cultural event.

Stuart Morris's study concentrates on the paintings first, and employs van Gogh's eloquent letters as an aesthetic reference point. Much of the book is concerned with metacriticism - the way van Gogh has been critically received over the years.

Vincent van Gogh is one of the most celebrated of painters. It's a bit of a mystery. The mystery (or irony) is that his paintings have commanded the highest prices in the auction rooms of the contemporary art world (88 million dollars, 53 million dollars, and so on), yet he only managed to sell one painting during his lifetime, and he lived in poverty (with financial support from his brother Theo).

Why is Vincent van Gogh so popular? His legend has developed relatively rapidly. His art is loved by the critics and public. The crazy prices paid for single oil paintings are the manifestations of the fervour that van Gogh seems to generate. He is one of the handful of painters who cause great excitement every time exhibitions of his work are put on. One thinks also of Claude Monet, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonaroti and Pablo Picasso. These are artists that the public go mad for, so that when they are exhibited, there are huge queues trailing around the block.

The 1990 centenary celebrations of 'poor Vincent' showed how much he is exalted. There were films about him, discussions and conferences, TV documentaries, magazine articles, reviews, letters, and much merchandize was sold, to the great glee of the manufacturers: posters, tea towels, calendars, mugs, souvenirs of all kinds. What would the dishevelled, obsessive man who painted those small canvases in the years up to 1890 in Southern France make of the amazing fuss that now surrounds his work? What would van Gogh think of just one of his paintings being bought for 88 million dollars? It is a huge sum even in today's expensive world. You could build a hospital or two with the money. Imagine it Did Vincent know that when he painted those blue irises on that small, standard-size canvas, that it would one day be 'worth' millions of dollars?

I shall count myself very happy if I can manage to work enough to earn my living, for it worries me a lot when I think that I have done so many pictures and drawings without ever selling one.

Like the workers he depicted in numerous images, Vincent van Gogh himself worked very hard to improve his art. With a dogged determination van Gogh copied the Old Masters, as well as Japanese prints. His determined self-education and self-improvement paid off, resulting in more than 800 paintings in about 8 years. The years of van Gogh's art are relatively few - nearly all of the important works were made in the decade 1880-90. Hence his paintings are credited in art history books with the month and sometimes the day as well as the year of production. For most artists, 1889 would suffice. For van Gogh, the credit is October 1889. Producing 800 paintings in 8 years is an average of a hundred per year, or one every three and a half days. More likely, van Gogh would have worked on a number at the same time, or within a short space of time.

Title:Vincent Van Gogh: Visionary LandscapesFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:132 pages, 9.21 X 6.14 X 0.28 inShipping dimensions:132 pages, 9.21 X 6.14 X 0.28 inPublished:February 1, 2008Publisher:Crescent Moon PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1861711859

ISBN - 13:9781861711854

Appropriate for ages: All ages

Look for similar items by category: