Vincent Van Gogh
Dutch Post-Impressionist Painter, 1853-1890
Vincent Willem van Gogh (30 March 1853 ?C 29 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist artist. Some of his paintings are now among the world's best known, most popular and expensive works of art.
Van Gogh spent his early adult life working for a firm of art dealers. After a brief spell as a teacher, he became a missionary worker in a very poor mining region. He did not embark upon a career as an artist until 1880. Initially, Van Gogh worked only with sombre colours, until he encountered Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism in Paris. He incorporated their brighter colours and style of painting into a uniquely recognizable style, which was fully developed during the time he spent at Arles, France. He produced more than 2,000 works, including around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches, during the last ten years of his life. Most of his best-known works were produced in the final two years of his life, during which time he cut off part of his left ear following a breakdown in his friendship with Paul Gauguin. After this he suffered recurrent bouts of mental illness, which led to his suicide.
The central figure in Van Gogh's life was his brother Theo, who continually and selflessly provided financial support. Their lifelong friendship is documented in numerous letters they exchanged from August 1872 onwards. Van Gogh is a pioneer of what came to be known as Expressionism. He had an enormous influence on 20th century art, especially on the Fauves and German Expressionists. Related Paintings of Vincent Van Gogh :. | Le Moulin de Blute-Fin (nn04) | The Nigh Cafe in Arles (nn04) | La Bercese (nn04) | Japonaiserie:Oiran (nn04) | Flowering almond tree branch in a glass |
Related Artists:Louis Tocque
Paris 1696-1772Witold Pruszkowski
Polish Painter, 1846-1896
Polish painter and draughtsman. He spent his early years in Odessa and Kiev, subsequently living in France, in particular in Paris, where he studied under the Polish portrait painter Tadeusz Gorecki (1825-68), continuing (1868-71) at the Akademie der Kenste in Munich. In 1871 he moved to Krakew where he studied until 1875 under Jan Matejko at the School of Fine Arts. During ten years in Krakew he produced many striking portraits. In the portrait of Mrs Fedorowicz (1878; Krakew, N. Mus.) he achieved subtle effects of modelling by means of carefully differentiated tones and meticulously distributed light. The Realism of these portraits is subsumed into an advanced proto-Impressionist technique, on occasion using both small patches of distinct colour and broadly applied areas of impasto. Alongside such works, Pruszkowski produced paintings based on fantastic legends, fables and folk-tales. In these works one can trace influences going back to the artist's Munich period; but Pruszkowski's essentially Romantic vision translated his subjects into an entirely Polish context, as in Midsummer's Night (1875; Warsaw, N. Mus.) and Water Nymphs (1877; Krakew, N. Mus.). In 1882 Pruszkowski moved to the village of Mnikow outside Krakew, where he worked in the isolation he believed essential for creative activity. Contact with the country people, however, provided him with themes for his work; alongside his fantastic and legendary subjects he painted genre scenes of peasant life. He brought to his subjects a diversity of means of formal depiction, from the realistic to the near visionary. However, there are notable recurrent motifs, for example the image of the native willow, the symbolic haunt of spirits, as in Willow on Marshland (1892; Ledz, Mus. A.). The visionary element achieved its apogee in the pastel compositions from the last years of his life. In works such as Death of Ellenai (1892; Wroclaw, N. Mus.) the evanescent nature of forms is expressed through restrained colour schemes, generally tending towards silvery greyish azure or shades of pink. Poynter, Sir Edward John
English Classicist Painter, 1836-1919
English painter, draughtsman, decorative designer and museum official. He came from an artistic family: his great-grandfather was Thomas Banks the sculptor, and Ambrose Poynter, his father, was an architect and watercolour painter. Edward began studying art in 1852 under Thomas Shotter Boys, a friend of his father. In 1853-4 Poynter visited Rome, where he was greatly impressed by the large-scale academic painting of Frederic Leighton. Returning to London, he studied at Leigh's Academy and the studio of William Dobson (1817-1898). Poynter entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1855 but his admiration for French painting led him to Charles Gleyre's studio in Paris the following year. He remained there until 1859, with fellow students George Du Maurier, Thomas Armstrong and Whistler; their activities are described in Du Maurier's novel Trilby (1894). At this time Poynter received his first commissions for decorative work. He began designing stained glass and painting furniture and, after his return to England, he was employed by his friend the architect William Burges to decorate the ceiling of Waltham Abbey, Essex, in 1860.