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About Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

     If not considered the actual founder of post-impressionism, Van Gogh, a Dutch artist, was its major proponent.  Post-impressionism incorporates the techniques of impressionism then adds a few of its own.

  • emphasis on geometric form
  • distortion of form for expressive effect
  • use of unnatural and arbitrary color

    Those style additions moved painting still further from representational expression, eventually giving rise to abstract expressionism.  Painting would no longer be about making pictures, "what was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event."  The approach is referred to as "action painting", "to paint just to paint", "the gesture on the canvas was a gesture of liberation from value - political, aesthetic, moral."

    Some of Van Gogh's works were representational and toe-the-line impressionist:

 

 

The Potato Eaters.  1885, 32" X 45", oil on canvas.  Many critics consider this painting Van Gogh's masterpiece.

 
View from Van Gogh's Atelier, The Hague.  1882, 15" X 21", watercolor

 

Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette.  1886, 9" X 13", oil on canvas
But he liberally experimented with post-impressionism:

 

 
 

           

 
 

Starry Night.  1889, 28" X 36", oil on canvas.

 
 

Red Vinyard.  1888, 30" X 36", oil on burlap.  This was the only painting Van Gogh sold in his lifetime.  

Still Life With Absinthe
1887, 13" X 18", oil on canvas 




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