This book analyzes the deeper meaning of recurring themes in van Gogh's oeuvre, such as the sower, the sun and the sunflower, against the religious background of his time. It traces the conflict between Christianity and nature that underlies the process of substitution of natural for Christian symbols which we find in van Gogh's oeuvre. The author has made a careful inventory of the principal motifs in van Gogh's oeuvre and studied the ways in which these have been combined and manipulated. By this method it can be demonstrated, not only that initially van Gogh uses explicitly Christian motifs such as the church spire, but also that their function is later taken over by motifs from nature like the sun and the starry night. Kōdera discusses the meaning of these symbols and quotes extensively from contemporary material and from van Gogh's letters to show how this process of naturalization was influenced by specific artistic sources such as French Naturalist novels and Japanese prints.
Presents an analysis of the painting "Irises" by van Gogh, done in the last year of his life while he was a patient at the St. Râemy asylum, exploring the influence of his surroundings and his mental state on his creative process.
Soon after his death, Vincent van Gogh’s reputation grew and developed through the extraordinary symbiosis evident between his paintings and letters. However it is a formidable task to read and analyze Van Gogh's nearly eight hundred letters due to the sheer bulk and complexity of the collection. Reading Vincent van Gogh is at once an interpretive guide to the letters and a distillation of Van Gogh’s key themes and ideas. This indispensable, synoptic, and interpretive view of the letters as a whole will be equally of interest to scholars and teachers making use of Van Gogh’s letters as it will be to those who have long been fascinated by the artist. This is the third book by Patrick Grant on the letters of Vincent van Gogh. It builds on his previous work in The Letters of Vincent van Gogh (2014), a practical-critical study, and “My Own Portrait in Writing” (2015), a literary theoretical analysis that draws on the domain of modern literary studies. In the hands of Patrick Grant, the extraordinary literary achievements of Vincent van Gogh are explained and exemplified and claims that the well-known artist was also a great writer are confirmed.
A new look at the ways van Gogh represented the seasons and the natural world throughout his career The changing seasons captivated Vincent van Gogh (1853–90), who saw in their unending cycle the majesty of nature and the existence of a higher force. Van Gogh and the Seasons is the first book to explore this central aspect of van Gogh's life and work. Van Gogh often linked the seasons to rural life and labor as men and women worked the land throughout the year. From his depictions of peasants and sowers to winter gardens, riverbanks, orchards, and harvests, he painted scenes that richly evoke the sensory pleasures and deprivations particular to each season. This stunning book brings to life the locales that defined his tumultuous career, from Arles, where he experienced his most crucial period of creativity, to Auvers-sur-Oise, where he committed suicide. It looks at van Gogh's interpretation of nature, the religious implications of the seasons in his time, and how his art was perceived against the backdrop of various symbolist factions, antimaterialist debates, and esoteric beliefs in fin de siècle Paris. The book also features revealing extracts from the artist's correspondence and artworks from his own collection that provide essential context to the themes in his work. Breathtakingly illustrated and featuring informative essays by Sjraar van Heugten, Joan Greer, and Ted Gott, Van Gogh and the Seasons shines new light on the extraordinary creative vision of one of the world's most beloved artists.
Vincent van Gogh continues to fascinate more than a century after his death in 1890. Yet how much of what is commonly known about this world-renowned artist is accurate? Though he left thousands of works and a trove of letters, the definitive Van Gogh remains elusive. Was he a madman who painted his greatest pieces in a passionate fury or a lifelong student of art, literature and science who carefully planned each composition? Was he a loner dedicated only to his craft or an active collaborator with his contemporaries? Why is he best known for self-mutilation and "The Starry Night"? This book has biographers, scriptwriters, lyricists, actors, museum curators and tour guides, among others, presenting diverse interpretations of his life and work, creating a mythic persona that may, in fact, help us in the search for the real Van Gogh.