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Vincent van Gogh: Sunflowers

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Tyler Anderson

on 13 April 2015

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Transcript of Vincent van Gogh: Sunflowers

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch painter.
He was "born on March 30, 1853 at Groot-Zundert in the Province of Brabant, Holland" (Vincent Van Gogh Biography, n.d.) .
He was raised by his father Thoeodorus Van Gogh who was a Protestant minister and his mother Cornelia Van Gogh.
"In 1880, Van Gogh enrolled in the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium at the age of 27" (Vincent van Gogh: Overview, n.d.).
"Van Gogh's first major work was Potato Eaters painted in 1885" (Vincent van Gogh: Overview, n.d.).
1888, Van Gogh left Paris to establish his own studio in Arles where he rented four rooms in a building known as the Yellow House which then became his Studio of the South.
"Towards the end of 1888, Van Gogh suffered from mental illness and other various types of epilepsy, psychotic attacks, and delusions and admitted himself to an asylum located in Saint-Remy-de-Provence" (Vincent van Gogh: Later Years, n.d.).
In 1890, Van Gogh through his suffering and depression, committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest.
Principles of Design
Visual Elements
Van Gogh was a Dutch painter from the nineteenth century.
He started his artistry as a "junior clerk in an art firm of Goupil and Company" (Vincent Van Gogh, n.d.).
"Van Gogh felt it was necessary to master black and white before working with color, and first concentrated on learning the rudiments of figure drawing and rendering landscapes in correct perspectives" (Vincent van Gogh 1853-1890, n.d.).
At the age of twenty-seven, Van Gogh "painted with dark, melancholy colors that suited his subjects at the time, mainly paintings of poor people, miners, and peasants" (Vincent Vang Gogh Style and Technique, n.d.).
He was experimenting and practicing his technique to improve upon his artistic style.
Tyler Anderson
Crown College
Professor Gretchen Burau
April 10, 2015

Vincent Van Gogh
Potato Eaters by Vincent van Gogh in 1885
Theodorus van Gogh and Cornelia van Gogh
Van Gogh used both geometric and organic shapes in his painting Sunflowers.
"Organic shapes and masses are irregular and evoke the living forms of nature" (Getlein, 2012).
Sunflowers are living forms of nature and is painted in organic shapes.
"Geometric shapes use regular, named shapes and volumes of geometry such as square, triangle, circle, cube, pyramid, and sphere" (Getlein, 2012).
The blue horizontal line separating the table from the the background is geometric.
Colors used in paintings help make the artwork come to life.
Both primary and secondary colors were used in painting Sunflowers.
Primary color yellow was used with different tints and hues.
Different shades used describe the life cycle of Sunflowers.
Colors can also express emotions.
Yellow is a bright color and is often described as cheery and warm" (Color Psychology-Yellow, n.d.).
Secondary color green was used for stems and leaves.
"Unity is a sense of oneness, of things belonging together" (Getlein, 2012).
Using the same hue unifies Van Gogh's painting.
Simple curves on the leaves and flowers also unify the painting.
Sunflowers being in different stages of its life shows variety in his painting.
Sunflowers has an equal visual weight that is well balanced.
His painting was done using asymmetrical balance.
Van Gogh used variations of the color yellow, not to make an exact copy of reality or to imitate the color of nature, but to express emotions.
"Yellow is a bright color described as being cheery and warm" (Color Psychology-Yellow, n.d.).
"It's the color of happiness, optimism, enlightenment, and creativity" (Yellow: The Meaning of Yellow, n.d.).
Use of brighter yellow shades depict the emotion of happiness, warmth, and love.
Darker shades of yellow could depict sadness, sorrow, darkness, or pain.
Flowers, such as sunflowers are living organisms that have a life cycle. Van Gogh painted Sunflowers showing these various stages.
The bright yellow sunflowers in his painting can be seen as the beginning stages of life, expressing the youthfulness of the flower.
Flowers painted in darker shades of yellow could describe the aging process of the flower.
Sunflowers losing its petals or wilting could describe the elderly stage of the flower. It could symbolize the nearing end, possibly death of the flower.
Some interpret Sunflowers as a symbol of spiritual faith.
"The flower that turns its bloom towards the sun has a long history as a symbol - of the Christian soul" (Gayford, 2014).
"The sunflower was a perfect symbol for the Christian faith because the blossom (bright and bountiful) is always seeking out the light (God).
"In 1886, Van Gogh's style underwent a major transformation when he saw the works of Impressionists first-hand" (Vincent Van Gogh 1853-1890, n.d.).
In 1888, Van Gogh left Paris to establish his own studio in Arles known as the Studio of the South.
Post-impressionist Paul Gauguin was invited to the studio and accepted his invitation in 1888.
Gauguin soon became one of Van Gogh's biggest influences in his artistic style.
Van Gogh stopped using dark, melancholy colors and began to use lighter color palettes with broken brushstrokes.
Color Psychology – Yellow. (n.d.). About Education website. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/sensationandperception/a/color_yellow.htm.
Gayford, M. (2014, January 24). Van Gogh’s Sunflowers: the story behind a masterpiece. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-features/10592710/Van-Goghs-Sunflowers-the-story-behind-a-masterpiece.html.
Getlein, M. (2012). Living with Art (10th Edition). Boston, MA: McGraw Hill.
Vincent Van Gogh. (n.d.). Sparknotes website. Retrieved from http://www.sparknotes.com/biography/vangogh/section1.html.
Vincent van Gogh 1853-1890. (n.d.). The Metropolitan Museum of Art website. Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/TOAH/HD/gogh/hd_gogh.htm.
Vincent Van Gogh Biography. (n.d.). Encyclopedia of World Biography website. Retrieved from http://www.notablebiographies.com/Tu-We/van-Gogh-Vincent.html.
Vincent van Gogh: Later Years. (n.d.). Van Gogh Gallery website. Retrieved from http://www.vangoghgallery.com/misc/later.html.
Vincent van Gogh: Overview. (n.d.). Van Gogh Gallery website. Retrieved from http://www.vangoghgallery.com/misc/overview.html.
Vincent Van Gogh Style and Technique. (n.d.). Artble website. Retrieved from http://www.artble.com/artists/vincent_van_gogh/more_information/style_and_technique.
Yellow: The Meaning of Yellow. (n.d.). Color Matters website. Retrieved from http://www.colormatters.com/yellow.

Vincent van Gogh was a unique Dutch painter who is well-known and has influenced many generations in his style of art. Though he was not recognized or fully appreciated while he was alive, Van Gogh’s artistic style still lives. His artistic style has inspired many throughout the years. One artist named Stefan Duncan has been influenced by his works and strives to recapture his style. Today, Van Gogh’s name is recognized among other well-known artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and Rembrandt van Rijin.
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